Oliver Rowland took pole position for the first Formula Renault 3.5 race of the weekend at the Hungaroring, while championship leader Carlos Sainz Jr was down in 14th.
The 30-minute session was disrupted by several incidents and two red flags as drivers battled with slick tyres on a track that was still damp in places.
The first red flag came after seven minutes - just as drivers were getting into their rhythm - when Sergey Sirotkin stalled his car trying to rejoin from a spin at Turn 3.
The next stoppage came in the final minute and had a much bigger influence on the outcome of qualifying, as several drivers appeared to have two flying laps left at that stage when Marco Sorensen crashed.
While points leader Sainz struggled to find clear air on the twisty Hungaroring, rookies Rowland and Pierre Gasly moved to the front, with Formula 3 European Championship leader Esteban Ocon briefly taking a turn at the top on his debut weekend in FR3.5.
Ocon would eventually end up sixth, as last year's Formula Renault Eurocup rivals Rowland and Gasly held on to lockout the front row.
Sainz was unable to get another lap in before the final red flag, meaning he will line up on the seventh row of the grid.
His closest title challenger - fellow Spaniard Roberto Merhi - was seventh fastest.
Behind the front two, Norman Nato and Matthieu Vaxiviere made it three Frenchmen in the top four, while Will Stevens took fifth just ahead of Ocon following a sequence of quick laps just before the red flag.
|1||Oliver Rowland||Fortec Motorsports||1m30.203s||-|
|2||Pierre Gasly||Arden Motorsport||1m30.356s||0.153s|
|5||Will Stevens||Strakka Racing||1m30.602s||0.399s|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Comtec Racing||1m30.722s||0.519s|
|7||Roberto Merhi||Zeta Corse||1m30.783s||0.580s|
|8||Marco Sorensen||Tech 1 Racing||1m30.937s||0.734s|
|9||Oscar Tunjo||Pons Racing||1m31.006s||0.803s|
|10||Matias Laine||Strakka Racing||1m31.263s||1.060s|
|13||Pietro Fantin||International Draco Racing||1m31.476s||1.273s|
|15||Cameron Twynham||Comtec Racing||1m31.920s||1.717s|
|16||Meindert van Buuren||Pons Racing||1m32.070s||1.867s|
|17||Roman Mavlanov||Zeta Corse||1m32.172s||1.969s|
|20||Nicholas Latifi||Tech 1 Racing||1m34.146s||3.943s|
|-||Luca Ghiotto||International Draco Racing||1m39.702s||9.499s|
|-||William Buller||Arden Motorsport||1m39.859s||9.656s|
|-||Sergey Sirotkin||Fortec Motorsports||1m41.696s||11.493s|