They may have been accused, from within, of showboating during the early practice sessions of previous grand prix weekends, but that did not stop Nico Rosberg and Williams from posting the fastest time in opening practice for the Turkish round - and leaving it to the very last minute to do so.

Rosberg had been a frontrunner during the interrupted 90-minute session, but only stamped his authority on proceedings after the chequered flag had fallen by clocking a 1min 28.952secs effort. The German was the only driver to duck below 1min 29secs and ended the morning three-tenths clear of long-time pacesetter Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton enjoyed another encouraging session in the McLaren, leading the way on several occasions, and bettering his own benchmark in the closing stages, only to see Rosberg following him across the line at the close and reset the target. Jarno Trulli also bounced back from Monaco disappointment to post the third fastest time of the session for Toyota.

After a quiet start, Hamilton had been the first to extend his activity beyond a sighting lap, with the rest of the field gradually following suit until all bar Sebastian Vettel had set a flying lap time. The German was a slow starter as the Red Bull team worked on his car, but eventually recovered to be fourth fastest overall, with Istanbul Park 'expert' Felipe Massa rounding out the top five.

The Brazilian was among those to be caught out by - and make worse - a situation that eventually caused the session to be red-flag with 17 minutes remaining, as artificial turf bordering the track began to be peeled away from the surface by cars passing over it. The matter was exacerbated by the amount of dust on the track, and a general lack of grip caused by a day of thunderstorms preceding the meeting, which saw more cars than normal taking the scenic route around many corners. Only a few minutes were lost as track workers recovered the errant turf.

Williams, Ferrari and McLaren all had both cars in the top ten when the cars returned to the pits, with Renault, courtesy of Fernando Alonso, and Brawn, with Rubens Barrichello, completing the top order. Points leader Jenson Button was eleventh fastest, with Mark Webber 15th, the Australian only one spot ahead of the two BMW Saubers, who proved unable to better similar positions from FP1 in Monaco, despite the addition of development parts including a new diffuser.