YEONGAM, South Korea (Reuters) - Pop sensation Psy brought ‘Gangnam Style’ to the South Korean Grand Prix on Sunday by first showing Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel how to dance to the catchy hit and then waving the chequered flag as he won the race.
The chubby South Korean rapper’s tune, and his quirky horse-riding dance, has stormed to number one in charts around the world while the video has been watched more than 454 million times on YouTube since July.
Police were seen doing the trademark dance in largely deserted stands before first practice in Friday while teams and television commentators also got in on the act.
Vettel and team mate Mark Webber were filmed learning the dance from the 34-year-old in the paddock before the race while Germany’s Nico Rosberg met him on Wednesday when Psy performed at a Mercedes function.
Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus team swiftly adopted the Twitter hashtag #Yeongamstyle for the race at the Yeongam circuit near Mokpo, a shipbuilding city some 400km south of Seoul with plenty of bright lights, bars and dubious ‘love motels’ where rooms can be rented by the hour.
British bookmakers William Hill offered odds of 5-1 that the winning driver would do the dance on the podium. Vettel maintained some dignity instead by performing the more traditional champagne celebrations with Webber.
Gangnam is the upmarket neighbourhood of Seoul where the video was shot, with Psy performing his idiosyncratic dance in which he pretends to ride an invisible horse in front of various locations.
A copycat video was shot before the Formula One circus arrived in town by Yeongam circuit staff, who performed the same moves around the paddock, in the pits and even on the podium. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)