Lewis Hamilton led the way in the first practice session on Friday for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver, seeking a fourth straight Formula One race win, was 0.868 seconds faster than fellow Briton Jenson Button in a Mclaren.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest, ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Kevin Magnusson (McLaren), Pastor Maldonado (Lotus), Sergio Perez (Force India) and Felipe Massa (Williams).

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel had to pull out after just four laps on the Circuit de Catalunya after an electrical problem with his Red Bull.

Overall championship leader Rosberg also experienced a technical problem, with the Mercedes hybrid system overheating, which limited the German to nine laps.

Rosberg, who won the season’s opening race in Australia when Hamilton retired with a technical defect, has a four-point lead in the standings -- 79 to 75 -- going into the fifth race of the season and the first in Europe.

A second practice session is scheduled later in the day, with qualifying on Saturday.


Hamilton makes it four-in-a-rowMay 10, 2014

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