Pastor Maldonado set the fastest time of the morning session in an overcast, but warm Valencia, but the F1 stars were again very closely matched, with 13 drivers within a second of the fastest time. The closest to Pastor was Sebastian Vettel, with Mark Webber third, all three of them covered by just 0.09s, with Jenson Button’s McLaren a tiny fraction behind them. Then came Fernando Alonso and Paul di Resta, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez. Felipe Massa was the first over a second in arrears, ahead of Force India test driver Jules Bianchi (in for Nico Hulkenberg in the session) and Valtteri Bottas (replacing Bruno Senna for the morning).
There was good news for the Caterham crew, as a new floor seems to have had a good effect with Heikki Kovalainen ahead of the two Toro Rossos (Jean-Eric Verge ahead of Daniel Ricciardo), Vitaly Petrov, Charles Pic, Pedro de la Rosa, Narain Karthikeyan and Timo Glock.
Various drivers went up escape roads, but otherwise there were no major incidents.