Second practice for the German Grand Prix saw a return to “business as usual” for Red Bull at the Nurburgring.
With hot-blowing off-throttle exhausts reinstated from this weekend, Mark Webber placed his RB7 at the top of Friday afternoon practice with a best of 1:31.711.
Webber jumped to head of the board with one hour remaining, later extending the gap to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
As the session ran on, the Australian displayed powerful long running pace too – a fact that may worry his fellow competitors.
Alonso – victor two weeks ago in Silverstone – appeared to be keeping pressure on the Red Bull man. His best came within two-tenths of Webber, while also maintaining a similar gap over reigning champion Sebastian Vettel.
Felipe Massa, in the second Ferrari, took another 4th place, some seven-tenths down on Webber.
The Mercedes pair ran high in the order as they continue to evaluate recent aero upgrades. Veteran pilot Michael Schumacher claimed 5th, despite nearly having a crash with Alonso in the turn seven hairpin.
Nico Rosberg also had an off – albeit a high speed one – on the exit of turn eight, although Rosberg recovered to set the 6th quickest lap.
Rosberg also suffered a loss of telemetry during the session, although this was cured later on.
McLaren continued to test new floors and exhausts during the afternoon, with Lewis Hamilton completing 28 laps in the ninety minute session. The 2008 World Champion assumed 7th place – just over five-tenths quicker than Jenson Button whose session was shortened by a broken exhaust.
Just behind Hamilton were the two Renault’s led by Nick Heidfeld. Both missed large chunks of second practice due to car failures – Heidfeld was sidelined with rollbar issues, while Petrov needed a replacement radiator.
Adrian Sutil rounded out the top ten in his Force India in his 34 lap session.
Two drivers that didn’t get much running were Daniel Ricciardo (HRT F1) and Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso).
Ricciardo was only his fifth lap when his Cosworth engine expired in the early minutes of the practice, while Buemi never even registered a time. The Swiss pilot completed three installation laps, before a misfiring engine ended his day prematurely.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m31.711s 34 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m31.879s + 0.168 38 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m32.084s + 0.373 28 4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m32.354s + 0.643 36 5. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m32.411s + 0.700 31 6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.557s + 0.846 32 7. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.724s + 1.013 28 8. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m33.098s + 1.387 17 9. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m33.138s + 1.427 22 10. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m33.211s + 1.500 34 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m33.225s + 1.514 17 12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m33.299s + 1.588 34 13. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m34.113s + 2.402 34 14. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m34.344s + 2.633 34 15. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m34.487s + 2.776 37 16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m34.491s + 2.780 35 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m34.996s + 3.285 35 18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m35.753s + 4.042 42 19. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m36.940s + 5.229 32 20. Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 1m37.248s + 5.537 33 21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m37.313s + 5.602 33 22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m38.145s + 6.434 31 23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m40.737s + 9.026 5 24. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari No time 3