CNN -- Ferrari's Fernando Alonso edged out the Red Bulls to set the fastest time in opening practice for this weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia on Friday.
The Spaniard, who was racing on home soil, lapped the street circuit quickest in one minute and 39.283 seconds in the afternoon practice session.
Alonso, whose only victory so far this season came in the opening race in Bahrain, is aiming to reproduce today's form in official qualifying and then Sunday's race.
"This morning, the McLarens were very quick, the Red Bulls are always on front running pace and even Mercedes and Renault are very close," he told the Formula One website.
"However, our only aim is to be ahead of everyone, otherwise we wouldn't be Ferrari."
Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull came second, with his teammate Mark Webber third and Nico Rosberg of Mercedes, who was fastest in the morning session, in fourth place.
But his teammate and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher again disappointed, only posting the 11th best time on his debut in Valencia.
Schumacher, who finished out of the points in the last grand prix in Canada, has won the European Grand Prix, at different venues, six times.
"I found it quite comfortable to drive even if some of the corners are blind," he told reporters.
"However it's demanding to get the real rhythm which I have not totally found over one lap yet."
It was a generally disappointing day for McLaren, as championship leader Lewis Hamilton came in fifth fastest, followed by Renault's Robert Kubica and Felipe Massa of Ferrari.
Adrian Sutil of Force India managed eighth, just ahead of world champion Jenson Button and last year's winner Rubens Barrichello of Williams in ninth and tenth respectively.
However, reigning world champion Button remains positive the McLaren team can gain some vital points going into what he expects to be a difficult weekend of racing.
"It's going to be a tough weekend for us, but an enjoyable one too, and we should still get some good points from it," he told the Formula One website.