Nico Hulkenberg was able to get six laps of running completed in Shanghai before FP1 was curtailed by a red flag.
The session had already been delayed by over half an hour by the time Hulkenberg was finally able to get out on track. However he then spun off in turn 3 on the damp circuit.
The stoppage required to retrieve the beached Renault segued into a more permanent curtailment due to track safety concerns.
"Unfortunately there’s not much to say about today," sighed Hulkenberg.
"I did get one flying lap on the intermediate tyres but that was it. We made a front wing adjustment. I was starting another flying lap when I was caught out and spun at the entry to turn three.
"Sadly the car ended up in the gravel so that was the end of my session.
"Running was stopped shortly afterwards due to the helicopter issue so we didn’t lose out today. FP2 was a real shame for everyone."
His team mate Jolyon Palmer didn't manage to complete a timed lap in the 20 minutes of track time available to the teams.
"In terms of track time we ran faultlessly today," he quipped. "Unfortunately the weather circumstances meant it was only for three installation laps.
"It was pretty slippey-slidey out there, but I was happy with both the wet and intermediate tyres for the limited time I used them.
"It’s a shame for the fans and I’m hoping for everyone’s sake that the weather improves tomorrow.
"There wasn’t much learnt today due to the limited track running," added the team's technical director Nick Chester.
"It’s a shame for the fans who came here to watch, but unfortunately the medical helicopter was unable to fulfil its role, so we were prevented from running.
"On the plus side, there is less work to be done on the cars overnight. We’re hoping for better conditions and more track time tomorrow."