This Sunday, Formula One returns to its birthplace of France for the first time in a decade. The hype trains have been cruising at full force ever since the announcement was made that Paul Ricard would be on the calendar… but the start of the race didn’t exactly display the finessed driving that you’d expect from the world’s greatest drivers.
The grid didn’t even make it through the first lap without a hell of a lot of carnage. Here’s a run-down of all the shenanigans that took place within, like, ten whole seconds.
First off, Sebastian Vettel booped into Valtteri Bottas’s rear end. Neither of them escaped without an issue: Bottas spun and popped a tire, and Vettel’s nose was in need of some serious repairs (as in, pitting for a whole freakin’ new one).
One two of the sport’s top drivers lost their cool, it gave the midfield permission to drop the kid gloves and go absolutely freakin’ crazy.
Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, two of the French drivers racing for glory in their home country, wiped each other out in a spectacular display of getting far too excited. Not quite the French kiss either of them were hoping for. A wheel went flying. Drivers from Haas, Renault, and Williams got confused by the blue line hypnosis and completely ignored the fact that there was a whole track there for them to use.
It looked like just about everyone—barring leader Lewis Hamilton—managed to escape unscathed. Fernando Alonso and Sergey Sirotkin both had to come into the pits as a result of debris damage, and even Max Verstappen was worried that he might have collected something.
Depending on who you’re a fan of, this might be the best or worst day of your life. If anything, it’s going to keep the French Grand Prix appropriately spicy, given how worried everyone has been that it would be a real snooze fest.
And, y’know, it’s almost kind of nice. Even the best drivers in the world can screw up pretty spectacularly sometimes. You can almost imagine them getting annoyed at rush hour traffic behind the wheel of their daily drivers just like the rest of us.