Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel was top dog in opening practice this morning for this weekend's F1 2010 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Vettel posted the quickest time, a 1 minute 32.280 seconds, two thirds of the way into the one and a half hour session, and that put him 0.334 seconds up on Lewis Hamilton, who was 'best of the rest' for McLaren.

Proceedings got off to a slow start, and it wasn't until around 20 minutes into FP1 that the first timed lap was set. Jenson Button took that honour, to become the first man in an F1 car to complete a lap of the revised Northamptonshire-based track, a 1m 37.994s. Mark Webber then went quickest on a 1m 34.681s, before being knocked down by Nico Rosberg and then his team-mate, Vettel, who set that 1m 32.280s effort.

A number of drivers had a few moments, including Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, with Abbey, where the new surface meets the old, proving especially tricky.

After the top-two, Robert Kubica was third, and encouragingly for him and Renault only a tenth off Hamilton, followed by Webber, who is completely recovered after his scary crash in Valencia two weeks ago, and Force India's Adrian Sutil. Sutil was the last of the runners to break the 1 minute 33 second barrier, his best a 1m 32.968s.

Rosberg was next up for Mercedes, with Williams man Nico Hulkenberg seventh and Button eighth. Record-breaking multiple F1 world champion Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello rounded out the top ten.

Further down the order, Sebastien Buemi and Vitaly Petrov were eleventh and twelfth, just ahead of the lead Ferrari piloted by Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard 2.2 seconds off the pace. Felipe Massa also seemed to struggle in the sister car and he was only 17th, five tenths further back.

Sandwiched between the Ferrari's were Force India test and reserve driver, Paul di Resta and the Sauber's of Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa. Jaime Alguersuari was the last of the 'established' runners in 18th on a 1m 35.318s.

Heikki Kovalainen was the best of the new team drivers in his Lotus, although even though the team have a number of updates this weekend, the gap to Alguersuari was over a second. Virgin's Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi posted the 20th and 21st best times, the former six tenths off Kovalainen.

Karun Chandhok was 22nd for Hispania, with Lotus test and reserve runner, Fairuz Fauzy and Sakon Yamamoto - who has been drafted in at very late notice to replace Bruno Senna - bringing up the rear. Fauzy and Yamamoto were way off the pace, finishing the session over 7 seconds back. Fauzy did only 11 laps - due to some sort of technical issue - while Yamamoto clocked up 27.

To see the full times from the F1 2010 British Grand Prix - Free Practice 1: CLICK HERE.


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