Lewis Hamilton stole a march on the field to set the pace in free practice one—a full four-tenths of a second quicker than his nearest rivals.
The Red Bull duo of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel were second and third, however, suggesting that once again they will be firmly in the mix come qualifying and the race.
In truth, it was a muted session—the street circuit takes time to evolve into a race track as rubber is laid down by the tyres of F1 cars, and FP1 will feel considerably different to later sessions at the weekend.
As such, there was initially no rush to come out and test, with half an hour of the 90 minutes almost at a complete standstill.
When the drivers did venture out, there were reminders of what makes this venue such a fine addition to the calendar—night fell and the floodlights rose, while F1 cars raced under busy overpasses still being used by the public.
Meanwhile, talk continued over the available race seats, with McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh having stoked the fires of the rumour mill earlier in the day by expressing an interest in Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
It was more interesting than either of their performances in FP1. Alonso was down in seventh place, while the struggling McLarens of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez occupied 14th and eighth places respectively.
Here are the official timesheets from FP1—you can see them also on the Eurosport website: