Championship leader Nico Rosberg of Mercedes emerged fastest in the rain-affected first practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The German lapped the Red Bull-owned circuit with a best time of one minute 11.295 seconds to finish 0.140 second ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished third, followed by Williams' Felipe Massa as 0.6 second 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 timesheet, 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 Hulkenberg were sixth and seventh fastest respectively.

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