Sebastian Vettel topped the opening practice session at the Indian Grand Prix as he set about his attempt to secure his fourth consecutive title this weekend.
The Red Bull driver was 0.118s clear of team-mate Mark Webber, with Nico Rosberg's Mercedes third fastest and 0.216s off the pace. Vettel's only remaining - and very distant - challenger for the title, Fernando Alonso, ended his session after six laps due to a gearbox problem. The issue occurred on the long straight to Turn 4 and he returned to the pits without changing gear again. The gearbox can be changed without penalty ahead of FP2 but it was another set-back Ferrari could have done without.
Romain Grosjean was fourth fastest and could be in the running again this weekend after his impressive display at Suzuka two weeks ago. He was 0.307s off Vettel and the highest-placed Lotus as Kimi Raikkonen appeared to be on a different running programme, two seconds off the pace.
Lewis Hamilton had a slow start to the session, completing the majority of his 21 laps in the final 20 minutes of the session. He also took a while to set a competitive time and locked his front brakes heading into Turn 1 on one attempt, forcing him to run wide and over the gravel. When he did set a representative lap time it was 0.544s off the pace.
McLaren's improved form continued on Friday morning, with Jenson Button just 0.652s off the pace in sixth palce and Sergio Perez 0.733s off the Red Bull. However, it will still be tough for either to break into the top six on race day without retirements ahead.
After a very quiet first 30 minutes, Perez was one of the first cars on track and had the circuit all to himself as other drivers waited for the dusty track conditions to improve. The action started to pick up in the final 40 minutes but conditions remained tricky, with Pastor Maldonado losing the rear of his Williams at Turn 5 and several drivers skipping the apex at the Turn 6 and 7 chicane.
James Calado, who was standing in for Paul di Resta in first practice, also had a spin and finished the session 18th and 2.5s off the pace. Di Resta, who was feeling unwell on Thursday according to the team, looked fully fit on Friday and will return to the cockpit for the second session.