Daniel Ricciardo followed the expected script by setting the fastest time ahead of teammate Max Verstappen as Red Bull installed themselves at the head of the field in Practice 1 at the Monaco GP.
The Australian was a tad slower to get into his stride than his Dutch partner around the streets of Monte Carlo but ultimately produced an impressive 1m12.126s on his second set of Hypersoft tyres to finish a tenth-and-a-half clear.
Lewis Hamilton offered Mercedes some reason for optimism in P3, albeit a third of a second back of the leading RB14. But he was well clear of both Ferraris as they made a very muted start to the weekend with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen almost a full second off the pace in fourth and fifth.
Carlos Sainz was sixth for Renault just ahead of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas as the Finn struggling for pace.
Highlighting how competitive Monaco is, four different midfield teams joined the big three in the top 10 as Sergio Perez was eighth in the Force India, Romain Grosjean survived hitting the barrier at Tabac before claimed ninth for Haas and Sergey Sirotkin recovered from a brush with the barrier coming onto the pit straight to take P10 for Williams.
In a largely mooted session, the main talking was the tyres as the new pink-striped Hypersoft made their first official appearance at a Grand Prix weekend.
While Red Bull appeared able to consistently improve their pace, Ferrari and Mercedes both suffered graining on the fronts.
Should that continue it would certainly put the Milton Keynes outfit in a strong position but it is likely to improve as more rubber is laid on the track with grip evolution over the weekend in Monte Carlo often the largest of the year.
Verstappen also finds himself under investigation by the stewards for reversing into the middle of the track after heading down the escape road at Sainte Devote and causing Kimi Raikkonen to take to the inside of the corner.
Several drivers also had issues with Kevin Magnussen stuck in the garage with just six laps to his name following a problem with his engine.
Fernando Alonso looked set to join him on the bench after a brake issue during his initial tours but it was fixed in time for the Spaniard to complete some running towards the end.
On a weekend when McLaren are hoping to lead the midfield to have Stoffel Vandoorne 15th and Alonso 17th was far from the ideal start.
Other notables include Charles Leclerc, who was seven-tenths faster than Sauber teammate Marcus Ericsson as the Monegasque was 16th in his first session at his home race.
Finally, Lance Stroll had very little positive to say about his Williams throughout the session, as the Canadian lacked the confidence to push, despite kissing the inside wall at the second Swimming Pool chicane, and was eight-tenths down of Sirotkin in 18th place.
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Carey willing to use Miami-style risk-sh
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Red Bull rule out Alonso, McLaren CEO co
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Hamilton insists Ferrari faster but perh
Force India development on hold during a
Williams in talks to enhance Mercedes pa
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Red Bull boss Horner thought Ricciardo '
Haas chief Steiner suggests F1 stewards
Doctors 'very, very happy' with Lauda's
Verstappen blocking Sainz promotion to R
Brown: McLaren's lack of competitiveness
Hakkinen: Hamilton & Vettel comparable t
Robert Kubica reflects on his first year
Daniel Ricciardo leaves Red Bull for Ren
New Ferrari CEO offers mixed signals on
Ex-McLaren tester De la Rosa doesn't wan
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Renault blocking Force India aid over wo
Daniel Ricciardo certain of new Red Bull
Bottas 'wasn't fussed' about hitting Vet
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Williams, Force India reveal first 2019
Ericsson has raced without a drink 'for
Liberty proposal to help Force India rec
Abiteboul: Renault stopped listening to
Alonso hails McLaren strategy after birt
Gasly hoping P6 in Budapest a reminder t
Hamilton: Vettel pit-stop error likely s
Ricciardo ready for summer after finishi
Wolff upsets Bottas with 'wingman' comme
Verstappen & Red Bull livid with Renault
Vettel clears Bottas in incident: 'He ha
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Vettel relaxed but admits Ferrari 'missi
Ricciardo defends Red Bull decision-maki
Hungarian GP: Hamilton claims pole as Fe
Hungarian GP: Vettel remains ahead, Merc
Toro Rosso's Key will not be released to
Force India enter administration after P
Hamilton admits Mercedes' lack of pace '
Ricciardo wary single-lap pace could hur
Vettel claims qualifying is key as he lo
Hungarian GP: Vettel beats the Bulls in
Hungarian GP: Ricciardo edges Vettel to
Villeneuve: Hamilton 'confuses F1 with H
Key leaves Toro Rosso, set to join McLar
Force India would consider Renault offer
Red Bull hopeful Ricciardo will avoid Hu
Hamilton used hostile Hockenheim atmosph
Ex-Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne di
Lawrence Stroll poised to buy Force Indi
Miami holds off F1 Grand Prix ambitions
Nico & Max differ on impact of Vettel's
Wolff: Mercedes only favoured the lead d
Hartley hails teamwork as Gasly rues gue
Hulkenberg had Brazil 2012 flashbacks en
Grosjean delighted with late Hockenheim
Ricciardo "won't remember" German GP aft
Raikkonen: Ferrari wasn't clear with Vet
Bottas: Mercedes team order made 'comple
Vettel rues 'big impact' of a 'small mis
Hamilton hails 'tremendous' win after su
Lewis Hamilton victorious from 14th as r
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Marchionne likely to step down as Ferrar
Alonso to consider McLaren future during
Red Bull expect Ricciardo deal to be a f
German GP: Leclerc leads rain-hit Practi
Stroll 'wants to do what's best' for his
Webber: Vettel still susceptible to Baku
Verstappen: Red Bull pace better than ex
Hamilton admits tyres the main focus aft
German GP: Verstappen gives Red Bull Fri
Red Bull: Honda partnership has more pot
Magnussen: Alonso radio theatrics akin t
Vettel plays down "human" Hamilton react
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German GP: Ricciardo pips Hamilton in Pr
After Hamilton, Bottas is now confirmed
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Hamilton reveals rival team interest, ex
Hamilton & Mercedes confirm two-year con