McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in Friday’s opening practice for the inaugural Formula One Indian Grand Prix, edging out the two Red Bull drivers.

Hamilton’s time of 1 minute, 26.836 seconds around the Buddh International circuit was half a second quicker than world champion Sebastian Vettel, with Mark Webber close up in third.

Fernando Alonso suffered a power-drive failure in his Ferrari and was the major casualty of the opening session, although many drivers ran off the track as they struggled for grip on the dusty circuit and tested the limits as they familiarised themselves with the layout.

The session was red flagged early due to a stray dog on the track, causing a five-minute delay.

The Mercedes pair of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were fifth and sixth fastest respectively in a good start to a race weekend, in which the team expects to be suited by the Delhi layout.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was seventh fastest, despite an off-track excursion that left his front wing loose and scraping the track. Force India’s Adrian Sutil, Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi and Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi completed the top ten.

The Williams of Pastor Maldonado ground to a halt in a plume of smoke after an engine failure.

Keywords: Indian GP

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