2011 EUROPE GP: WEBBER FASTEST ON FREE PRACTICE 1

Mark Webber set the fastest time of first practice for the European Grand Prix as drivers struggled with track conditions in Valencia.The Australian recorded a time of 1m40.597s to outpace Renault's Vitaly Petrov by nearly a full second in a session that was mostly incident-free.

Local hero Fernando Alonso was third fastest in the Ferrari, with Lewis Hamilton in fourth but already over a second behind the Red Bull of Webber. Nick Heidfeld completed the top five in the second Renault.

Felipe Massa was sixth fastest, Jenson Button seventh, while championship leader Sebastian Vettel was only 16th as Red Bull spent part of the session running the engine setting that will be required in Silverstone when the off-throttle blown diffuser ban comes in to effect.

A dusty track greeted all of the drivers, with dirty tyres returning to the pits after each installation lap. Many waited in their garages for the track to clean up slightly, but cars running wide were a common site once the circuit got busier later in the session.

There were encouraging signs for both Renault and Ferrari, with the latter running a modified suspension as it tried to solve its problems with the harder tyre compounds. Massa likened the new Pirelli medium tyre to the previous specification hard tyre, but was competitive in a session which usually sees Ferrari run high fuel loads.

Pos  Driver                Team                  Time               Laps
 1.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m40.403s            22
 2.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault               1m41.227s  + 0.824   20
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m41.239s  + 0.836   22
 4.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1m41.510s  + 1.107   23
 5.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault               1m41.580s  + 1.177   24
 6.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m41.758s  + 1.355   23
 7.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m41.926s  + 1.523   14
 8.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes  1m41.955s  + 1.552   20
 9.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m42.043s  + 1.640   22
10.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m42.216s  + 1.813   29
11.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1m42.270s  + 1.867   26
12.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m42.412s  + 2.009   27
13.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth     1m42.704s  + 2.301   23
14.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1m42.738s  + 2.335   20
15.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth     1m42.841s  + 2.438   28
16.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m42.941s  + 2.538   21
17.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1m43.201s  + 2.798   18
18.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1m43.769s  + 3.366    7
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault         1m44.136s  + 3.733   17
20.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth       1m45.026s  + 4.623   17
21.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth       1m45.221s  + 4.818   19
22.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth          1m45.494s  + 5.091   24
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1m46.926s  + 6.523   27
24.  Karun Chandhok        Lotus-Renault                               2