Today’s Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix is a very wet race. No one can see. Perfect time to spin out as traffic comes at you, then. Feel the pain of these wet-weather spins and smashes.
In case you missed the start, Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean crashed out before race even started, and then the safety car led the field for seven laps. After a few laps, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel spun out and ended up facing oncoming traffic in the hard-to-see conditions. Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg narrowly missed collecting the Ferrari on his way up the hill.
Vettel pitted afterwards and to add insult to injury, a wheel gun got stuck on his left rear wheel.
That was just the start of the carnage. After Vettel’s epic butt-clenching code brown, Marcus Ericsson aquaplaned after hitting the slick painted white line to the edge of the track, spun and crashed his Sauber in the wet conditions, right near the entry to pit lane.
Ericsson was okay after the shunt, however, it caused a bit of drama with the pit lane after it triggered a red flag. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had to drive around Ericsson’s stray front wing after to make it in. Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo followed him in the pits afterwards, but did so after the pit lane was closed and received a five-second time penalty for doing so.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner tried to argue that Ricciardo had a puncture, but the stewards wouldn’t have any of it. When pit lane’s closed, it’s closed—especially when there’s a wrecked car somewhat in the way.
Finally, the red flag came out on lap 21 after Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen spun and crashed along the pit straight, littering it with debris and almost getting collected by the Manor of Esteban Ocon. The race had just returned to green a moment before. Nico Hülkenberg ran into Räikkönen’s front wing as well. Verstappen almost lost control of his car as well at that moment, but managed to save himself from spinning out.
Räikkönen was fine, but naturally, Sebastian Vettel howled over the radio about his teammate’s crash and the poor conditions, as quoted by the BBC:
This is just bad, just stupid. Red flag is what it needs, we need to stop the race.
How many people do they want to crash, I nearly crashed into Kimi in the middle of the straight, I couldn’t see anything.
Heard you loud and clear, Seb. We’re just now returning to a safety car restart.
More intense rain is expected, thus, no one’s sure if they’ll get enough laps in for full points at this point. The FIA has already mandated that the restart must be done on extreme wet tires, however, drivers aren’t exactly impressed with the performance of those at this moment.