Red Bull took different tactical approaches to the first session of the weekend, with Mark Webber leading the way by 0.8 seconds on the dusty track from unlikely second-place man Vitaly Petrov, while world champion Sebastian Vettel was only 16th.
A contrite Nico Hulkenberg crashed Paul di Resta's car in the morning © LAT
Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Nick Heidfeld completed the top five in a session that was never likely to have too much significance for the rest of the weekend as the track improved with more running.
One person whose weekend was affected by the events of Friday morning was Paul di Resta. It was his turn to hand his car over to Nico Hulkenberg for the session, but the test driver crashed heavily, meaning di Resta would get barely any Friday running.