Lewis Hamilton led the way followed by Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Jenson Button – all covered by 0.086s.
Vettel’s title rival Fernando Alonso was fifth-fastest, 0.261s slower than the best time. Felipe Massa was sixth following a spin in his Ferrari, which left his car undamaged.
Romain Grosjean was seventh for Lotus but team mate Kimi Raikkonen’s session was disrupted by an engine problem. He failed to set a time until the final quarter of an hour after the team’s first attempt failed to cure the glitch.
The Force India drivers also appeared in the top ten, separated by Pastor Maldonado’s Williams.
The HRT drivers did little running early in the session before appearing for a few laps.
Much of the session was conducted by drivers using Pirelli’s development tyre compound for the 2013 season, which were identified with orange markings.
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Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images