Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening session of the weekend, leading a McLaren one-two, but holding a 0.9-second advantage over team-mate Jenson Button.
The two Mercedes were next up, with the Red Bulls in fifth (Sebastian Vettel) and eighth (Mark Webber), sandwiching the Renaults.
Sebastian Vettel © Sutton
In a fairly uneventful session, the only notable incidents were a throttle problem forcing Karun Chandhok to trundle around the circuit at a crawl to get back to the Hispania pits, and Adrian Sutil losing it at Turn 8 in the closing minutes and rearranging his Force India against the barrier.
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Matt Beer started freelancing for Autosport.com in the first week of its existence in 1999, and spent the next decade-and-a-half dovetailing increasing amounts of time contributing to it with UK national reporting, driver and team PR, freelance for organisations including ITV, BMW, Autocourse and the FIA Institute and a parallel career co-managing award-winning Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatres.
He stopped being stubborn and became Autosport.com's deputy editor in April 2014. Matt also oversees Haymarket's talent development programme for emerging motorsport writers and escapes to cover Formula Ford 1600 races whenever possible.