Fernando Alonso has topped the timesheets in the opening practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix

Ferrari teammates Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa have set the pace in a wet/dry opening practice session for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix. On his home track, Alonso emerged two-tenths of a second faster than his teammate during a late burst of dry-weather tyre running.

Conditions were damp when the pit lane was opened for the day’s first of two ninety-minute practice sessions. Pirelli had allocated an extra set of prototype hard-compound tyres to each car in the hope of providing more on-track action, but the weather had other ideas, with damp conditions greeting the field for the first two-thirds of play.

Once the track was dry enough, Jean-Éric Vergne was the first runner to post a seriously competitive lap time in his Toro Rosso, prompting the rest of the runners to do the same.

Alonso ultimately emerged quickest, posting his best lap on his final timed lap as the chequered flag was unfurled to indicate the end of the session. Massa wound up second-quickest, with his session punctuated by several off-track excursions through the gravel and tarmac run-off areas as he explored the limits of adhesion on Pirelli’s intermediate tyres.

Vergne ultimately finished third-quickest, ahead of fellow Frenchman Romain Grosjean in the Lotus, with the pair followed closely by Adrian Sutil, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Kimi Räikkönen, Nico Rosberg and Paul di Resta completed the top-ten places, demoting long-time session leader Daniel Ricciardo into eleventh place.

The weather conditions – of which more of the same is expected for the afternoon’s second practice session – no doubt played havoc with many teams’ hopes of evaluating their various upgrade packages.

The Red Bull Racing pair of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber both finished well down the order, while McLaren opted for a limited amount of running of its upgraded MP4-28. Sergio Pérez finished thirteenth-quickest, while Jenson Button toured the circuit just six times and opted not to post a lap time.

2013 Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:25.252   20
2. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:25.455 + 0.204 20
3. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:25.667 + 0.415 25
4. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:26.042 + 0.790 21
5. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:26.212 + 0.960 24
6. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:26.374 + 1.122 19
7. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams Renault FW35 1:26.456 + 1.204 20
8. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:26.614 + 1.362 21
9. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:26.621 + 1.369 21
10. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:26.755 + 1.503 16
11. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:26.940 + 1.688 26
12. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Sauber Ferrari C32 1:27.061 + 1.809 24
13. Sergio Pérez MEX McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:27.135 + 1.883 6
14. Esteban Gutiérrez MEX Sauber Ferrari C32 1:27.250 + 1.998 26
15. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW35 1:27.576 + 2.324 24
16. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Caterham Renault CT03 1:28.373 + 3.121 14
17. Giedo van der Garde NED Caterham Renault CT03 1:28.600 + 3.348 19
18. Jules Bianchi FRA Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:28.887 + 3.635 14
19. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:29.457 + 4.205 11
20. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:29.473 + 4.221 21
21. Rodolfo González VEN Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:30.314 + 5.062 21
22. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 no time   6

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.