Webber On Top of First Practice in Spain

Australian Mark Webber topped the times for the Red Bull team in Friday's opening practice session for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

The 34-year-old, who won last year's race here, clocked a best time of one minute and 25.142 seconds to finish the session a second clear of his team-mate and defending world champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany.

Another German Nico Rosberg was third for Mercedes ahead of Spanish two-times champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari with Mexican rookie Sergio Perez of Sauber fifth.

Briton Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 champion, was sixth quickest for McLaren ahead of seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, 42, in the second Mercedes and another German Nick Heidfeld for Renault.

Hamilton's McLaren team-mate and compatriot Jenson Button was ninth and veteran Brazilian Rubens Barrichello of Williams 10th under blue skies and warm sunshine at the Circuit de Catalunya, celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first hosting of the event in 1991.

The morning session was largely uneventful, but it was clear that once again Webber revelled in the demands of the circuit and that Red Bull had the performance to match the challenge as they dominated at the front.

Hamilton spent some time back in the McLaren garage looking for aerodynamic tweaks to his car in a bid to close the gap at the head of the field where Webber enjoyed a full second's advantage on Vettel.

Webber is without a win this year and lies third in the title race with 55 points behind Hamilton, on 59, and Vettel on 93 after four races. Vettel has won three and Hamilton one.

Source: Agence France Presse

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