Friday sunshine created ample opportunities for the teams to test their upgrades and work on the tyres to optimise car balance.
Fernando Alonso set the Spanish crowd alight as he lapped fastest time in his revised Ferrari F2012. The championship leader was just four tenths behind the Spaniard.
Just a second and a half separated the top fifteen drivers during the session.
Vettel set the fastest time in his Red Bull after halting for half an hour in pits, then it was broken by Alonso’s Ferrari.
Behind the pair, Kobayashi who spent more time on track, and Button, weren’t far from them either, only just a tenth away from Seb.
Valtteri Bottas was the clear pick of the reserve drivers as he took Bruno Senna’s Williams right to fifth – continuing his impressive run of form on friday. Michael Schumacher ended the session at sixth ahead of Grosjean’s Lotus.
Seven different drivers covered top seven. Mclaren tried out the new high nose – running along with the old one – to conclude on which is best.
Hamilton went eighth fastest on the high nose run ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Kimi totally did 28 laps in his long-haul of run ahead of Hulkenberg’s Force India.
Felipe Massa, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg stood at the end of the session in twelve,thirteen and Fourteen respectively.
The Debutants :
Dani Clos made his first appearance in practice only to end up the session slowest after his car came to a stop in the pits due to a mechanical problem.
The American, Alexander Rossi made his debut at 21st for Caterham after putting on 25 laps.
RESULTS : FP1 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m24.430 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m24.808s + 0.378 3. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.912s + 0.482 4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.996s + 0.566 5. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m25.120s + 0.690 6. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m25.187s + 0.757 7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.217s + 0.787 8. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.252s + 0.822 9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m25.285s + 0.855 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m25.339s + 0.909 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m25.367s + 0.937 12. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m25.433s + 1.003 13. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m25.539s + 1.109 14. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.607s + 1.177 15. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.918s + 1.488 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.226s + 1.796 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m26.297s + 1.867 18. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m26.630s + 2.200 19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m27.475s + 3.045 20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m28.267s + 3.837 21. Alexander Rossi Caterham-Renault 1m28.448s + 4.018 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m28.633s + 4.203 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m29.107s + 4.677 24. Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1m31.618s + 7.188