The weekend started with a battle between Nico Rosberg and the two McLarens, and it was the Mercedes that came out on top in first practice as Rosberg made the most of the F-duct and pipped Lewis Hamilton by 0.164 seconds.
Nico Rosberg was fastest in the opening session for Mercedes-Benz © Sutton
His team-mate Michael Schumacher was still learning the Valencia track in eighth, as Robert Kubica and Felipe Massa completed the top five ahead of the Red Bulls.
The only incident of the morning was a short red flag after Bruno Senna's Hispania shed a wing mirror, which was then messily shattered across the track by Sebastien Buemi's Toro Rosso.
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