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Sebastian Vettel led a Ferrari 1-2 in first free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix as Max Verstappen made a convincing debut for Red Bull Racing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The only team to trial the soft tyres during the first session of the weekend, Ferrari duly commanded the top two spots, with Vettel getting the edge on team-mate Kimi Raikkonen as the only driver to dip below 1min 24secs.

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Setting a time of 1min 23.951secs, he was just under two tenths faster than the Finn, with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton following up in third and fourth, the medium-shod Mercedes drivers five and sixth tenths off the top respectively.

With all eyes on Red Bull Racing as Verstappen turned his first wheel with the team, the Dutchman subsequently made a strong first impression, ending up sixth fastest, just two tenths adrift of Daniel Ricciardo in the sister RB12.

Valtteri Bottas headed up the Williams challenge in seventh position, ahead of leading Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz and Felipe Massa, the Brazilian the only driver to endure a significant off in an otherwise low key session. Fernando Alonso completed the top ten for McLaren.

With Verstappen inside the top six, the man he swapped seats with Daniil Kvyat was a solid 12th place on his first outing driving the Toro Rosso STR11, just behind leading Renault driver Kevin Magnussen.

Elsewhere, Force India rolled out its revised VJM09 with Nico Hulkenberg 13th fastest and Sergio Perez in 14th place, though the latter completed only nine laps after complaining of problems with the engine.

There was disappointment, meanwhile, for Esteban Ocon - making his FP1 bow with Renault -, the Frenchman failing to set a time in the Renault RS16 after developing problems early on in the session.