Williams’ rookie Pastor Maldonado set the pace during the first practice session ahead of the European Grand Prix. The Spanish GP winner, set a time of 1min40.890 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in at 1min40.973.Maldonado's time was roughly 0.4 seconds slower than 2011's pace-setter, Webber, who was at that time running the controversial rear-blown diffuser on his car.Team mate Mark Webber set the third fastest time of 1min40.984 ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button (1min40.994) and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso who came in fourth with a time of 1min41.065.Alonso's team mate, Felipe Massa, who hoped to be the 2012 season’s eight different race winner came in 14th with 1min42.109s.First free practice times from the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain:1. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min40.890 2. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min40.973 3. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min40.984 4. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren-Mercedes 1min40.994 5. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min41.065 6. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min41.105 7. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1min41.117 8. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1min41.158 9. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min41.182 10. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min41.620 11. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min41.784 12. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 1min41.838 13. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 1min41.861 14. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min42.109 15. Jules Bianchi (France) Force India 1min42.175 16. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min42.299 17. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 1min42.442 18. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min42.758 19. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min42.777 20. Vitaly Petrov (Russian) Caterham 1min43.209 21. Charles Pic (France) Marussia 1min44.173 22. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 1min44.996 23. Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 1min45.120 24. Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia 1min45.338Stay with Wheels24 for the European Grand Prix weekend!