Mark Webber emerged in front at the end of opening practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, as a last-minute rush for slick tyres on a drying track created an unusual order in the first session of the weekend
The championship leader denied Michael Schumacher the chance to top a session for the first time in his comeback season, as Red Bull driver Webber sneaked in a 1m54.589s, 0.119 seconds ahead of the time Schumacher (Mercedes) had just set to briefly lead the way.
Adrian Sutil was third for Force India, ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull, Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari and McLaren's Jenson Button - all of whom had been in first place for a few moments during the crazy closing stages.
One important piece of information that the drivers learned was that the Marina Bay track takes a long time to dry without sunlight hitting it.
Even though no rain had fallen for over an hour before the start of practice, it was only in the final 15 minutes that the track was really suitable for slick tyres - and even then puddles were still visible off-line in many places.
Kamui Kobayashi ended up only 12th for Sauber, but had been one of the pacesetters in the wetter period - as had Virgin's Timo Glock, who sat at the top of the times for 13 minutes in the middle of the session.
Nick Heidfeld was 13th on his return to the Sauber cockpit, though the late changes were so rapid that he had been in the top six with a minute to go.
Lewis Hamilton, testing McLaren's new front wing, had a similar experience - tumbling to 18th purely because he finished his final flying lap sooner than most.
Jerome d'Ambrosio was within 0.2s of team-mate Glock on his first run for Virgin, while Christian Klien settled back in with Hispania in 23rd place, 3.7s down on team-mate Bruno Senna.
Apart from a few trips over chicanes and visits to run-off areas, the session was incident-free - although Nico Hulkenberg (Williams) is set to collect a gearbox change penalty as a new unit will be necessary following a differential problem at Monza.
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