The 2012 Formula One season got off to a good start for McLaren's Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, at the first official practice session for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, on Friday afternoon.

Button was 0.245s faster than Hamilton, with Mercedes' Michael Schumacher in third. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was fourth while Red Bull's Mark Webber was fifth, with team-mate and defending champion Sebastian Vettel in 11th.

The rain claimed Alonso's Ferrari team mate - Felipe Massa - who spun off and crashed. Meanwhile, Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan, driving for HRT, did three laps before quitting the session and Pedro de la Rosa did not even manage a time.

Check out the top ten times:

1. Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes - 1:27.560 (11 laps)

2. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes - 1:27.805 (14 laps)

3. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes - 1:28.235 (17 laps)

4. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari - 1:28.360 (21 laps)

5. Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing-Renault - 1:28.467 (21 laps)

6. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes - 1:28.683 (22 laps)

7. Daniel Ricciardo, STR-Ferrari - 1:28.908 (23 laps)

8. Pastor Maldonado, Williams-Renault - 1:29.415 (16 laps)

9. Kimi Räikkönen, Lotus-Renault - 1:29.565 (8 laps)

10. Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari - 1:29.722 (26 laps)