A typically competitive opening Monaco session involved the top spot being exchanged repeatedly in the final minutes as the track conditions improved, and in the end it was Sebastian Vettel who emerged in front for Red Bull ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
Schumacher crashed in practice © LAT
But while one Red Bull led the way, the other propped up the order - a gearbox problem meant Mark Webber did not get to set a time at all.
Nico Rosberg was third for Mercedes, followed by Felipe Massa's Ferrari and the two McLarens. The sister Mercedes of Michael Schumacher took 10th despite the former champion slewing into the Sainte Devote barriers after making a late decision to drive up the escape road.
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Matt Beer started freelancing for Autosport.com in the first week of its existence in 1999, and spent the next decade-and-a-half dovetailing increasing amounts of time contributing to it with UK national reporting, driver and team PR, freelance for organisations including ITV, BMW, Autocourse and the FIA Institute and a parallel career co-managing award-winning Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatres.
He stopped being stubborn and became Autosport.com's deputy editor in April 2014. Matt also oversees Haymarket's talent development programme for emerging motorsport writers and escapes to cover Formula Ford 1600 races whenever possible.