Former F1 Driver Jean Alesi Arrested For Putting Firecracker By His Brother-In-Law's Office

The brother-in-law is divorcing Alesi's sister. Alesi says the whole thing was a "bad joke"

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It seems like everyone has a wild in-laws-around-the-holidays story, but I think former Formula One driver Jean Alesi’s brother-in-law is going to have one hell of a tale now that Alesi was arrested in France for setting off a large firework outside that brother-in-law’s office window.

Around 10 p.m. in Villeneuve-les-Avignon, France, locals called the police on December 18, concerned that they were hearing explosions, French sporting paper l’Equipe reports. Alesi wasn’t immediately arrested; instead, his brother José was taken into custody after a vehicle seen leaving the scene of the crime was traced back to him. Alesi turned himself in at 4 p.m. the following day.

Alesi’s brother-in-law is reportedly divorcing Alesi’s sister, which could be a motivating factor in the incident, where Alesi purchased a large Italian firework and set it off outside his architect brother-in-law’s office window. Alesi, for his own part, called the whole thing a “bad joke” and that he set off the firework “without imagining to cause such damage.”


Okay, Jean. You just thought a large firework would be kinda funny. Seems legit!

Reports indicate that the anti-burglary window and shutters were damaged in the explosion, which isn’t an insignificant amount of damage. The brother-in-law has filed a complaint for those damages but claims he has “no problem” with Jean Alesi. Local authorities are, obviously, not completely on Alesi’s side here.


Alesi is probably best known for his one and only Formula One win at the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix, though he did win the 1989 International Formula 3000 Championship. He spent several years at Ferrari, where he was known for being a fiery and emotional driver. Since then, he’s taken on several ambassador roles, which has kept his name around. Alesi is also known for this:

Perhaps running from the back of the grid to the front via a patch of grass should have indicated that Alesi would go on to be the kind of guy who would light fireworks in his brother-in-law’s office window.