Motor racing: Rosberg tops first practice in Austrian GP

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany drives during the first practice session of the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg on June 20, 2014. Formula One World Championship leader Nico Rosberg of Mercedes
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany drives during the first practice session of the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg on June 20, 2014. Formula One World Championship leader Nico Rosberg of Mercedes emerged fastest in the rain-affected first practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Formula One World Championship leader Nico Rosberg of Mercedes emerged fastest in the rain-affected first practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday.

The German lapped the Red Bull-owned circuit with a best time of 1min 11.295sec to finish 0.140sec ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third, followed by Williams' Felipe Massa as 0.6sec covered the next nine drivers.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel's spectacular spin was one of the highlights of the session which had several drivers running wide.

The Red Bull driver, who finished 15th on the time sheet, spun in the final corner and narrowly avoided the barrier.

Team-mate and Canadian Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo of Australia came 13th in the session amid intermittent rain.

Force India duo of Sergio Perez and Nico Huelkenberg were sixth and seventh fastest respectively.

Formula One returns to Austria for the first time since 2003.