Mark Webber headed the times at the end of the first practice session for the European Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver had a healthy advantage of eight tenths of a second around the street circuit.
Vitaly Petrov was second-fastest, just one hundredth of a second faster than Fernando Alonso.
There was little running early in the session as the track was dusty and in grip.
The slippery surface caught out Nico H?â??lkenberg in the first half hour of running. The Force India reserve driver had gone fastest and was improving his time when he lost control of the car at turn 12.
The VJM04 snapped left under braking and he clipped the barrier, damaging the left-rear corner, leaving the mechanics with much work to do to get the car ready for Paul di Resta in the second session.
The dusty surface caught out several other drivers, including Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa and Kamui Kobayashi, but all were able to take to the run-off area to recover.
Heikki Kovalainen ran wide at turn one and Michael Schumacher had a high-speed moment on the exit kerb at turn 20.
Another reserve driver who didn’t get much running was Karun Chandhok, who toured slowly into the pits after just one lap having lost second gear.
2011 European Grand Prix
- 2011 European Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your driver of the European GP weekend
- Red Bull: “Rules changed but not the result”
- Ferrari: Alonso says Red Bull up to a second faster
- McLaren: Only third-fastest in Valencia
- Mercedes: Schumacher takes blame for collision
- Toro Rosso: Alguersuari bounces back
- Sauber: Perez nearly grabs a point with one-stopper
- Renault: Boullier unhappy with single point
- Force India: Sutil cracks the top ten
Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images