Japanese Formula Three front-runner Paolo Montin led the way in opening practice for the Macau Grand Prix as he edged out Brazilian Lucas di Grassi.
With lap times improving throughout first practice as drivers got up to speed around the Guia circuit, Montin moved to the top of the timesheets with three minutes of the session remaining before bettering his best time in the final minute.
The Italian's quickest lap of two minutes 14.192 seconds was just over two tenths faster than Manor Motorsport's di Grassi, who took the second slot in the final minute of practice.
"We stuck to our plan in that session," said Montin, who is competing in Macau for the fifth time this year. "I had a small problem with the brakes but it is nothing to worry about."
Di Grassi, who finished third in last year's Macau Grand Prix, said: "I am pretty happy. The track is nice and the car felt nice. I just spent my time getting used to the car around this track."
The biggest surprise of first practice was the form of Macau rookie Sebastian Vettel, who has been drafted in by the ASM team. The German set the third fastest time in the final lap of the incident-free practice session.
"That result was a surprise," admitted Vettel. "The track is amazing, and I am still learning it, but despite some traffic I am pretty happy with everything."
Vettel's teammate Loic Duval was fifth quickest, behind Japan's Kazuki Nakajima, but had no complaints about the result.
"That was not bad for the first session," said the Frenchman. "There was a lot of traffic out there, so it was difficult to get a clear lap. I will make a few changes before qualifying, but I am pretty happy."
The leading British driver was Manor Motorsport's Mike Conway, who was 11th fastest, just one place ahead of Danny Watts.
Pos Driver Car Time Laps 1. Paolo Montin Dallara Honda-Mugen 2:14.192 12 2. Lucas Di Grassi Dallara Mercedes 2:14.402 13 3. Sebastian Vettel Dallara Mercedes 2:14.637 12 4. Kazuki Nakajima Dallara Toyota 2:14.906 12 5. Loic Duval Dallara Mercedes 2:14.931 12 6. Robert Kubica Dallara Honda-Mugen 2:15.094 13 7. Joao P De Oliveira Dallara Toyota 2:15.107 12 8. Franck Perera Dallara Opel 2:15.260 12 9. Naoki Yokomizo Dallara Nissan 2:15.425 13 10. Fabio Carbone SLC Opel 2:15.602 13 11. Mike Conway Dallara Mercedes 2:15.824 13 12. Danny Watts Dallara Toyota 2:15.858 13 13. Daisuke Ikeda Dallara Toyota 2:16.607 13 14. Christian Bakkerud Dallara Honda-Mugen 2:16.676 12 15. Bruno Senna Dallara Honda-Mugen 2:16.677 13 16. Kohei Hirate Dallara Opel 2:16.724 13 17. Guillaume Moreau Dallara Opel 2:16.849 13 18. Taku Bamba Dallara Toyota 2:17.261 13 19. Steven Kane Lola Honda-Mugen 2:17.347 13 20. Charlie Kimball Dallara Honda-Mugen 2:17.676 12 21. Dan Clarke Dallara Opel 2:17.777 12 22. Romain Grosjean Dallara Opel 2:18.465 13 23. Karl Reindler Dallara Honda-Mugen 2:18.478 13 24. Michael Ho Dallara Toyota 2:18.816 10 25. Rodolfo Avila Dallara Mercedes 2:20.645 11 26. Stephen Jelley Dallara Opel 2:20.670 13 27. Cheong Lou Meng Dallara Honda-Mugen 2:22.793 8 28. Lei Kit Meng Dallara Opel 2:23.155 12 29. Fillip Salaquarda Dallara Opel 2:24.331 10 30. Jo Merszei Dallara Honda-Mugen 2:26.713 9