Alexander Albon quickest, then crashes, in rain-affected Brazilian GP FP1
Red Bull Racing’s Alexander Albon set the pace during a rain-hit opening practice for Formula 1’s Brazilian Grand Prix, before crashing late on.
Heavy rain through the morning left the Interlagos Circuit surface treacherous early on, before drivers eventually discarded Wet tyres for Intermediates.
Albon set a time of 1:16.142s on Intermediates but ended his session in the barriers at Juncao upon switching to dry tyres.
Several drivers took on slicks for the final five minutes of running but Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat both spun, before Albon slid wide through the left-hander and was helpless to prevent his car from skating across the gravel and into the wall.
Albon’s crash brought out the red flags with two minutes of the session, meaning no-one was able to improve, sealing his place at the top of the timesheets.
Albon’s time left him 0.551s clear of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel classified third, ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc has taken on a fresh Spec 3 Internal Combustion Engine for this weekend's event and he will start 10 places back from wherever he qualifies, with stewards duly confirming the penalty during the session.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. was fifth, in front of Renault pair Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo, the Toro Rossos of Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat, while Sainz Jr.’s team-mate Lando Norris capped the top 10.
Nicholas Latifi replaced Robert Kubica for his sixth and final FP1 session with Williams and classified as the slowest of the 16 drivers who set a time.
Verstappen and newly-crowned World Champion Lewis Hamilton were among the four drivers who did not set a timed lap in the session.
Second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix will begin at 15:00 local time
Brazil - Practice 1
|1||Alexander Albon||Red Bull||1:16.142||9|
|8||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:18.100||1.958||17|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:18.274||2.132||16|
|13||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1:19.414||3.272||6|
|14||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:19.532||3.390||12|
|15||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:19.600||3.458||18|
|18||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||1|
|19||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||3|