A dark sky welcomed the drivers for the opening practice session of the weekend, although the rain held off throughout the 90 minutes and so it proved to be a productive session for most.
Alonso topped the tables in FP1 © LAT
Fernando Alonso started his weekend in perfect fashion with the quickest time in the Ferrari, the Spaniard outpacing the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, second and third respectively.
The McLarens did not enjoy a good session, with both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button beginning to show problems with the handling of their cars, finishing down in fifth and sixth over a second behind Alonso.
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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.