Albon crashes but still fastest in wet FP1
(Photo credit: Mark Thompson via Getty Images) 

The penultimate weekend of the 2019 Formula 1 season kicked off in Brazil at a rain soaked Interlagos circuit.

Alex Albon was quickest but finished the session in the barriers after a late switch to soft tyres left him struggling for grip.

Midweek, the Thai driver signed a new deal to stay at Red Bull for 2020, after impressing following his promotion from Toro Rosso midway through the year.

Valtteri Bottas finished second followed by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.

Newly crowned six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton didn't set a time, whilst there was an appearance from Williams test and reserve driver Nicholas Latifi, who sat in for Robert Kubica.

Here comes the rain...

Heavy rainfall prior to the session meant that Wet tyres were essential at the start with only a few drivers braving the tricky conditions.

As the track began to dry, intermediate tyres were fitted before some drivers ventured onto slicks.

But this proved to be an unwise move with Max Verstappen spinning off at the first corner, before his teammate Albon crashed into the barriers, bringing out the red flag in the final minutes.

With wet conditions predicted for Saturday, this session hints at how qualifying could go, but Sunday's race is likely to be a dry affair.

Championship battles

While Hamilton and Mercedes have wrapped up the Driver's and Constructors Championships respectively, there are a still some ongoing battles further down the grid.

Leclerc, Verstappen and Vettel are fighting over third spot and the early pace from their teams hints at a great fight this weekend.

Albon will hope that his crash won't hinder his chances of being best of the rest. His challengers, McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jnr. and the man Albon replaced at Red Bull, Pierre Gasly, finished an impressive fifth and eighth and will be looking to build on their great start.

Brazil FP1 Full Results:

  1. Alexander Albon – 1.16.142
  2. Valtteri Bottas – 1.16.693
  3. Sebastian Vettel – 1.17.041
  4. Charles Leclerc – 1.17.285
  5. Carlos Sainz Jnr. – 1.17.1786
  6. Nico Hulkenberg – 1.17.899
  7. Daniel Ricciardo – 1.17.985
  8. Pierre Gasly – 1.18.100
  9. Daniil Kyvat – 1.18.274
  10. Lando Norris – 1.18.559
  11. George Russell – 1.18.779
  12. Kevin Magnussen – 1.19.247
  13. Lance Stroll – 1.19.414
  14. Kimi Raikkonen – 1.19.532
  15. Antonio Giovinazzi – 1.19.600
  16. Nicholas Latifi – 1:20.010
  17. Romain Grosjean – NO TIME
  18. Sergio Perez – NO TIME
  19. Max Verstappen – NO TIME
  20. Lewis Hamilton – NO TIME
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