Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton set the pace in a session when the track was damp but not really wet, although it did rain during the session. The cars featured a significantly updated package. Third quickest was Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari, ahead of Michael Schumacher, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. Nico Rosberg was seventh with the top 10 completed by Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean.
Kamui Kobayashi was 11th ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas (who spun off at the end of the session in Bruno Senna’s Williams) and Daniel Ricciardo. Kimi Raikkonen was 15th ahead of Jules Bianchi (in Paul di Resta’s Force India), Jean-Eric Vergne, Vitaly Petrov, Heikki Kovalainen, Mark Webber (who was taking things easy), the Marussias of Charles Pic and Timo Glock and the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Dani Clos (in for Narain Karthikeyan in the session).