Alexander Albon topped a damp opening practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos on Friday despite bringing the session to an early end after crashing in the final sector.

Heavy rain throughout the morning at Interlagos left the track drenched for the start of FP1, forcing drivers to head out on the Wet compound tyres to complete their initial runs.

The showers stopped to allow drivers to switch to Intermediates midway through the session, before a late spurt of runs on slicks in the final five minutes.

Albon set the pace for Red Bull during the Intermediate tyre runs, turning in a best lap time of 1m16.142s in the RB15 car to sit half a second clear of the field prior to the final outings on slicks.

A flurry of cars headed out on-track with dry tyres on to try and gain some data in the last five minutes, but conditions remained slippery, resulting in Albon’s crash at Juncao.

The Anglo-Thai driver ran wide onto the grass before sliding into the wall with the front-right of his car, leaving it with damage that will require repairing through the break before FP2.

Albon’s Red Bull teammate, Max Verstappen, also had a spin on the slicks, as did Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, but both were able to keep their cars out of the wall.

Bottas ended the session P2 for Mercedes ahead of the Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz took fifth for McLaren.

Renault drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo finished sixth and seventh respectively ahead of Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat, while Lando Norris completed the top 10 in the second McLaren entry.

Verstappen was joined by Lewis Hamilton, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez in not setting a time in the session, with most opting to curtail their running due to the dry forecast for the remainder of the weekend.

 

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