Greater Noida: Mclaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in the opening practice session of the inaugural Formula One Indian Grand Prix here on Friday.

The 2008 world champion clocked 1 min 26.836 sec with his final run as he went past Red Bull's newly re-crowned world champion Sebastian Vettel and his teammate Mark Webber of Australia.

Another McLaren driver Jenson Button finished fourth followed by the seven-time title winner Michael Schumacher in his Mercedes.
Schumacher's teammate Nico Rosberg was sixth fastest, even as Felipe Massa of Ferrari stood seventh.

Sahara Force India's Adrian Sutil gave the local public a reason to cheer as he was eighth fastest followed by Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi who completed the top-ten list.

However, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso became the major casualty in the opening session after he suffered a power-drive failure on the dusty track of the Buddh International Circuit and had to stop his car on a service road.

Apart from Alonso, many others also ran off the track as they struggled for a grip on the dusty circuit. Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari spanned into the barriers, while Pastor Maldonado's Williams car started spewing smoke after an engine failure, which forced him out of the session.

The first ever session also had a halt as a stray dog ran onto the track, causing a five-minute delay.

Stray dog gatecrashes F1 party

A stray dog spoiled India's grand entry into the world of Formula One when it halted the first practice session at the newly-constructed Buddh International Circuit for five minutes.

The black dog ran around on the track before being chased away by officials in a safety car, making for an embarrassing scene ahead of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

It wasn't the first organisational glitch to hit the event. On Thursday, Williams' driver Rubens Barrichello's press conference was interrupted by a power cut.

On Friday, the dog strayed on to the track after Force India's Adrian Sutil outmanoeuvred Team Lotus' Karun Chandhok, who lost out on a race seat as his outfit decided to stick with regular driver Jarno Trulli, while coming out of the pit lane.

The proceedings were stopped for five minutes after that.

There was another minor glitch when a bat flew into the media centre before being chased away.

(Agencies)