Rosberg Tops First Practice in Valencia

Nico Rosberg emerged on top of the first practice session of the European Grand Prix at Valencia, scoring the best time of 1:41.175. The German driver made the best out of Mercedes GP's improved F-duct system, beating the two McLarens driven by Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in the final 15 minutes of Friday's morning practice.

From early on, it looked like McLaren would dominate the first session on the dusty track of the Valencia street circuit, yet Rosberg was quick in showing his intentions to score the best time of the morning. The trio controlled the timing reports until the late stages of the race, when Rosberg did a full lap with an activated F-duct system and beat Hamilton's time.

Renault's Robert Kubica was the last driver to come within a second from pace-setter Rosberg, as his best time of the day was 0.540 seconds short of Rosberg's. Ferrari's best placed driver at the end of FP1 was Felipe Massa, who ended the morning a full second behind Rosberg, yet a slight faster than Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso did some intensive testing of the F10's new exhaust system this morning, running with temperature-sensitive stickers on his car throughout the 90 minutes of action. His time though was more than 1.2 seconds slower than Rosberg's, placing him just behind Mercedes GP's Michael Schumacher. The Top 10 was completed by Williams' Rubens Barrichello.

Needless to say, the streets of Valencia proved dusty and unclean for the first F1 running this weekend and caused several drivers to visit the run-off areas on Friday morning. The only incident was caused by HRT F1's Bruno Senna's who touched the wall at one point and his car's mirror dropped off, being later smashed into pieces by Sebastien Buemi's STR5. The race organizers eventually waved the red flag to clear out the debris.

01. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)                                                1:41.175
02. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes)                              1:41.339
03. Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes)                                1:41.383
04. Robert Kubica (Renault)                                                   1:41.715
05. Felipe Massa (Ferrari)                                                      1:42.182
06. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault)                                 1:42.216
07. Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault)                                      1:42.275
08. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)                                     1:42.312
09. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)                                                 1:42.421
10. Rubens Barrichello (Williams-Cosworth)                           1:42.463
11. Nico Hulkenberg (Williams-Cosworth)                               1:42.707
12. Vitaly Petrov (Renault)                                                       1:42.962
13. Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso-Ferrari)                              1:43.310
14. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Force India-Mercedes)                          1:43.380
15. Pedro de la Rosa (Sauber-Ferrari)                                    1:43.397
16. Paul di Resta (Force India-Mercedes)                               1:43.437
17. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber-Ferrari)                                    1:43.729
18. Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso-Ferrari)                             1:44.183
19. Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus-Cosworth)                                  1:44.491
20. Timo Glock (Virgin-Cosworth)                                            1:45.653
21. Bruno Senna (HRT-Cosworth)                                           1:47.123
22. Jarno Trulli (Lotus-Cosworth)                                             1:47.285
23. Karun Chandhok (HRT-Cosworth)                                     1:47.343
24. Lucas di Grassi (Virgin-Cosworth)                                      1:47.356
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