The only thing the teams could really learn in the opening session was that Marina Bay takes a long time to dry in twilight, for although the rain had stopped over an hour before practice commenced, it was only in the final 15 minutes that the track was really ready for slicks.
Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi and Virgin's Timo Glock were particularly entertaining - and quick - on the damp track, but when the surface finally dried the timing screen rapidly turned itself inside out as the order changed with every lap completed on the ever-faster circuit.
In the closing seconds it looked like this might be the first time that Michael Schumacher would top a session in his comeback, but Mark Webber slipped through with a slightly quicker time to deny the seven-time champion.
To continue reading this feature, join Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus membership includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.