Daniel Ricciardo confirmed Red Bull's anticipated form in Hungary on Friday morning, the Aussie clocking in with the fastest time and just edging out Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by 0.049s.
Ricciardo's team mate Max Verstappen concluded the session third, leading Kimi Raikkonen and the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Hungarian Grand Prix - Free Practice 1
The Formula 1 community is on deck at the Hungaroring for the very last time before everyone heads off to a well-deserved summer break.
As if to reflect the drivers' urge to head to the beach, almost every car appeared in a hurry to take to the track when the light at the end of the pitlane turned green.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was the first man to put in a flying lap and a time on the board, clocking in with a 1m19.5s that was beaten straight away by team mate Max Verstappen.
For many, this weekend's race will be Red Bull's to lose such is the perceived advantage of its highly efficient RB14 chassis on the low-speed layout often compared to Monaco, where Ricciardo won last May.
Gradually, drivers upped the pace with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen taking over at the top of the time sheet from Verstappen and the silver Arrows duo of Bottas and Hamilton. The Finn was on ultrasoft tyres while Red Bull was on the medium compound and Mercedes running on Pirelli's soft rubber.
Shortly after the 30-minute mark, Sebastian Vettel lowered the benchmark with a 1m17.9s lap on ultrasofts. In his quest to test the limit, Verstappen endured a spin but with no consequences for the Dutchman's mount.
In the McLaren camp, Stoffel Vandoorne was impatient to put his replacement chassis through its paces in a bid to pull himself out of his recent inexplicable two-race slump. And the improvement did indeed appear noticeable, the Belgian no longer lingering at the bottom of the timesheet.
Sauber's Marcus Ericsson spun on the exit of Turn 4, the Swede's car incurring damage to its floor unfortunately which in turn put an end to his session.
Another driver sent to the sidelines prematurely was Nico Hulkenberg, whose Renault appeared to just switch off.
Up front, Ricciardo picked up the baton to lead the field with a lap in 1m17.613s that edged Vettel by 0.079s, with Verstappen, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Bottas forming the top six.
Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz were 'best of the rest', while Haas' Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen and Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly rounded off the top ten.
All in all, a close and competitive session that bodes well for this aftrenoon's FP2 and for what should be a thrilling race weekend.