Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the opening practice session ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix
The Red Bull driver finished three tenths clear of Lewis Hamilton's McLaren, but the 90-minutes were more about drivers learning Silverstone's new Arena layout than about setting fast times.
Most spent as much time getting to grips with the new Silverstone layout as they did fine-tuning their set-ups. Several experienced problems with a bump at the turn-in of the new Abbey right hander, and also with the slippery surface in the new Village loop.
Michael Schumacher was first to spin off at Village, losing the rear end of his Mercedes on the way in and spinning off to the outside. He made the same mistake two laps later, but was far from the only driver to hit trouble there. Hamilton ran wide and off the road at the same place, as did Felipe Massa, Nico Hulkenberg, Adrian Sutil and Fairuz Fauzy.
The bump at Abbey caused more problems as drivers experimented with different set-ups, lifting and even downshifting to attempt to keep the car settled on the entry to the quick right-hander.
Hamilton, Schumacher, Paul di Resta, Timo Glock and Karun Chandhok were those disturbed the most. Hamilton was quicker than Vettel's best time on several occasions, only for mistakes in the new section to ruin his laps.
Fauzy had spent the first hour of the session in the pits after a fire in the airbox of his Lotus earlier this morning. Glock also only got out for the last half hour due to a fuel pressure problem, while Lucas di Grassi completed just 10 laps in the other Virgin car.
Robert Kubica's Renault ended the session third fastest, ahead of Mark Webber, Sutil and Nico Rosberg.
Di Resta ended practice 14th on his latest run for Force India, while Fauzy set the 23rd quickest time once he joined in. Sakon Yamamoto, in at HRT in place of Bruno Senna, was 24th.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:32.280 22 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.614 + 0.334 16 3. Kubica Renault 1:32.725 + 0.445 21 4. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:32.747 + 0.467 23 5. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:32.968 + 0.688 18 6. Rosberg Mercedes 1:33.318 + 1.038 21 7. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:33.377 + 1.097 19 8. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.519 + 1.239 20 9. Schumacher Mercedes 1:33.955 + 1.675 18 10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:34.016 + 1.736 17 11. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.132 + 1.852 21 12. Petrov Renault 1:34.365 + 2.085 22 13. Alonso Ferrari 1:34.490 + 2.210 20 14. di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:34.580 + 2.300 22 15. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.710 + 2.430 16 16. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.901 + 2.621 17 17. Massa Ferrari 1:35.037 + 2.757 21 18. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:35.318 + 3.038 27 19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:36.747 + 4.467 16 20. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:37.330 + 5.050 11 21. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:37.518 + 5.238 15 22. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:38.735 + 6.455 21 23. Fauzy Lotus-Cosworth 1:39.510 + 7.230 11 24. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:39.673 + 7.393 27 All Timing Unofficial
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