Formula One celebrated its 60th birthday on Thursday with Fernando Alonso's red Ferrari fittingly fastest in practice for the showcase Monaco Grand Prix.
Flying the flag for the only team to have been around since the very first season, the Spaniard dominated both sessions on a tight and twisty street circuit as synonymous with Formula One as his Italian glamour team.
Steering well clear of the unforgiving metal barriers, the double world champion lapped in one minute 15.927 seconds in the morning and then carved more than a second off after lunch with a best time of 1:14.904.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was second quickest in the first session, 0.073 slower, while Mercedes's Nico Rosberg pushed his fellow German into third place in the afternoon.
Neither of the two 90-minute sessions saw any major incidents, despite there being six more cars on track than last year due to the three all-new teams that have made their debuts since then.
The slowest car on track, the HRT driven by Brazilian rookie Bruno Senna, was more than seven seconds off the pace set by Alonso.
Australian Mark Webber, winner in Spain on Sunday for Red Bull, was fourth fastest in the first session but dropped back to 10th in the second.
Germany's seven times world champion Michael Schumacher ended the day fifth fastest for Mercedes.
The former Ferrari ace was making his first appearance on track in Monaco since a now-infamous 2006 race when he was sent to the back of the starting grid by stewards who ruled he had deliberately blocked rivals in qualifying.
If Schumacher were to win for Mercedes on Sunday, he would equal the late Brazilian Ayrton Senna's record of six wins in the principality.