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.
Red Bull didn't expect Verstappen's tyre
Vettel suggests Ricciardo 'didn't see hi
Ocon, Magnussen facing US GP exclusion f
Red Bull expect Ricciardo will be 'havin
Hamilton admits Mercedes strategy made U
Raikkonen reacts to Austin win: "Much ha
US GP: Raikkonen claims popular win as t
Verstappen: Honda upgrades are 'very pro
Mercedes: Ocon 'guaranteed' to be 'in a
Mansell tips Hamilton to match Schumache
Alonso never planned a full IndyCar seas
Ricciardo reveals Red Bull blocked post-
Haas 'aghast' over deficit to front-runn
FIA unlikely to reconsider red flag rule
Vettel pleased Ferrari back 'in range' o
Ricciardo hints at Turn 1 challenge from
Verstappen bemused by suspension failure
Hamilton satisfied to get second Q3 lap
US GP: Hamilton snatches pole, Vettel to
US GP: Vettel leads tightly packed top t
Ocon tips Leclerc & Gasly to trigger gen
Mercedes boss Wolff would 'probably' use
Ricciardo predicts Austin 'lottery' than
Pirelli reveal 2019 tyre colours amid ch
Bottas focused on own performance despit
McLaren not returning full-time to IndyC
Vettel disagrees with grid penalty for r
US GP: Hamilton untouchable with one-lap
Horner clarifies misquoted comment on Ve
Arrivabene claims Ferrari critics 'waiti
Toro Rosso drivers take new Honda engine
US GP: Hamilton leads by over a second i
Vettel vows to maintain Suzuka approach
Hartley questions his support from Toro
Williams looking to secure budget and Oc
Following Michael 'not a burden' for Mic
Hamilton: Thoughts of claiming the title
Ricciardo unconcerned by Renault pace: 2
Alonso considers Hamilton among top five
Verstappen 'has more talent' than Vettel
Manufacturers to blame for current F1 di
Perez confirmed at Force India for 2019
Hamilton on matching Schumacher: "We'll
Renault to build all-new engine for 2019
Leclerc would expect Ferrari axe if pace
Verstappen concerned 2019 wing changes w
Alonso: F1 needs to refind the unpredict
Kubica to receive financial boost in bid
Marko in talks with Nissan to secure Alb
Renault warns of manufacturer exit if F1
Schumacher not ready to take the big lea
Russell maintained belief in 2019 F1 sea
Verstappen: Red Bull approach will avoid
FIA's Whiting rejects thought of delayin
Kvyat 'stronger and better prepared' ahe
Sainz hoping for repeat of 2017 Renault
Perez: Force India results vindicated ad
Hamilton 'a class act' as he goes for fi
Wehrlein joins Mahindra in Formula E for
Renault: Verstappen should blame Red Bul
Renault covering their own lack of pace
Stroll pleased 'bridge hasn't burned' wi
Vandoorne gets confirmed with HWA for Se
Vettel 'a lot like Schumacher' and will
Alonso admits each F1 race is 'more emot
Ricciardo right at home at 'one of the b
Mick Schumacher 'can become one of the g
Mercedes see threats from Honda and aero
Sainz confident McLaren will rebound in
Haas boss Steiner does see capacity for
Webber questions 'long-term' Renault mov
Hamilton calls for 'dynamic' F1 weekends
Leclerc doesn't rule out 2019 F1 title b
Williams is considering Ocon for second
Abiteboul: Renault a victim of Mercedes/
FIA gives green-light to 2019 F1 calenda
Pirelli prepared to allow teams unlimite
Mercedes junior Russell confirmed at Wil
Palmer wants 're-think' of F1 stewarding
Marko 'upset' with Vettel and 'shocked'
Toro Rosso's Tost: Time running out to a
Verstappen reveals Red Bull's sharp resp
Wehrlein refused Formula E offers as he
Mercedes suggests Sochi team order was a
Vettel accepts Mercedes have had it 'too
Ex-F1 driver Coulthard reveals all-femal
Ricciardo admits F1 motivation has 'fluc
Sainz concedes Renault engine gains insu
FIA refute engine sensor claim regarding
Hamilton calls for Vettel 'respect' by m
Vettel to seek private chat with Verstap
Wolff: Only a 'freak' injury could stop
Vettel reaffirms Ferrari commitment afte
Alonso: Suzuka penalty proves 'how bad F
Vietnam to be confirmed on 2020 Formula
Hamilton surprised by sudden Ferrari slu
Gasly unhappy with Toro Rosso strategy a
FIA's Whiting explains why Magnussen avo
Raikkonen: Verstappen incident compromis
Mercedes boss Wolff: Vettel right to att