German Grand Prix practice as it happened

Text and video highlights of practice for the German Grand Prix, where Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is fastest.

5 July 2013 Last updated at 15:23

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As it happened

  1. 1500: 

    Red Bull and Mercedes look like they're the ones to beat to pole position tomorrow afternoon. Join me from 0930 BST for final practice before qualifying from 1200. Until then, it's good afternoon from me. Auf Wiedersehen.

  2. 1455: 

    Right, then. It's time for me to depart. Thanks for your company and contributions as always. It seems there's a lot of love for Senna and, bizarrely, Driven, in the best motor racing-themed movies of all time. A very good shout by Matt Smith on Monte Carlo or Bust, too.

  3. 1451: 

    So we've got a German 1-2 - Sebastian Vettel heads Nico Rosberg - in German Grand Prix second practice, with their fellow Germans Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg 11th and 15th respectively.

    On the British front, Lewis Hamilton leads the way in eighth, ahead of Jenson Button in ninth, Paul di Resta 10th and Max Chilton 22nd.

  4. 1446: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's developing report of the action from second practice at the Nurburgring. There's also a nice interview with Paddy Lowe on how the first few weeks of his new role at Mercedes have gone.

  5. 1442: 

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who finished fastest, said: "Mercedes were very quick this morning. I wasn't entirely happy with the car this morning. I was quite happy with what we had this afternoon."

  6. 1436: 

    Interestingly, just a few thousandths separate Lotus team-mates Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen while the Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were equally as close.

  7.  

    Williams development driver Susie Wolff, who is acting as a BBC Radio 5 live analyst: "I think Mercedes have the slight edge over Red Bull."

  8.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "It's all very close. Qualifying will be all about who can get the tyres working in Turn One, Two and Three."

  9. 1433: 
    SECOND PRACTICE STANDINGS

    1) Vettel 2) Rosberg 3) Webber 4) Grosjean 5) Raikkonen 6) Alonso 7) Massa 8) Hamilton 9) Button 10) Di Resta 11) Sutil

    12) Ricciardo 13) Vergne 14) Perez 15) Hulkenberg 16) Gutierrez 17) Bottas 18) Maldonado 19) Pic 20) Van der Garde 21) Bianchi 22) Chilton

  10. 1430: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG
    Sebastian Vettel

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel finishes fastest in second practice for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

  11. 1426: 

    The good news is, there has not been a single tyre issue in either of today's two sessions. That bodes well for the rest of the weekend. Hopefully now we can start focusing on the racing.

  12. 1423: 

    Just seven minutes to go, with Sebastian Vettel leading the way from Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber. Romain Grosjean, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta complete the top 10.

  13.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    On how the revised Pirelli tyres have performed today: "What we've seen in last three hours of running is the tyre that suits this Formula - let's back what we've got instead of trying to reinvent the wheel... or the tyre."

  14.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Matt Smith: Favourite motor-racing film has to be Monte Carlo or Bust! Comedy and motorsport fused into one.

    Rian Hoskins: It was more of a documentary but Senna has to be the best racing movie I've seen. Can't wait for Rush though!

    Phil Dunn: Does the Cannonball Run count?

    Of course it does Phil. Keep you favourite motor racing-themed films coming, folks. Tweet us using #bbcf1 or text 81111 (UK only).

  15. 1418: 

    Lots and lots of laps being clocked up at the Nurburgring, with most doing at least half the German Grand Prix race distance. Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez has completed the most (40) while Jules Bianchi has done the fewest with 10 in the Marussia.

  16.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "When Alonso came in there was lots of front graining on both front tyres but Massa has just come in and it has improved."

  17. 1410: 

    Long runs are very much the order of the day at the moment, with Red Bull's Mark Webber showing remarkable consistency in terms of lap times on his medium tyre run.

  18.  

    Lewis Hamilton's race engineer over team radio: "Vettel, ahead, is on the same tyre, and similar wear, so he's a good reference."

  19.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Steve Lank: Re 1237. Favourite motorsport film is Le Mans. Steve McQueen in a Porsche 917 Vs Ferraris fantastic! Looking forward to release of Rush.

    John Paul McCarthy: Favourite car film? Stroker Ace. Best of Burt Reynolds!

    Jeff Dahn: Favourite racing movie is a real documentary. "The Racing Scene" by James Garner. Story of his campaign with a Surtees Formula A car.

    What's your favourite motor racing-themed movie? Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those messages.

  20. 1403: 

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is told by his engineer that his "pace looks better on this tyre compared to others". The Mercedes driver is currently running the mediums.

  21.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "Lewis Hamilton is on a strong run of form heading into his Mercedes team's home race. He was on pole position at Silverstone a week ago and lost a win only through a tyre failure, and he qualified second and finished third in Canada before that. His upturn in form after three races of being out-qualified by team-mate Nico Rosberg has coincided with Paddy Lowe, who knows Hamilton from McLaren, joining as executive director (technical). Has Lowe been able to help Hamilton get more comfortable with the car? 'I know Lewis, worked with him all his time at McLaren, so I know how he is as a driver,' Lowe said, 'but coming in you're just dealing with what you're looking at. There may be detail points that come up but in general with how the car runs, the set-up, you're dealing with local issues and it's difficult to get a reference back that in my case is six months ago. What I can bring is my experience generally. I can look at issues - I've already done so with some of what Lewis was running in Canada and come up with ideas of what we could try. But no different to what I might apply to Nico.'"

  22. 1357: 

    Romain Grosjean displaces his Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen with an impressive time on his second timed lap. The Frenchman goes fourth, 0.427 seconds off the pace.

  23. 1353: 

    Red Bull's Mark Webber has swapped soft tyres for the mediums he used earlier in the session for a longer stint in his Red Bull. Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen goes fourth quickest, 0.4 seconds off the pace.

  24.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "The DRS overtaking aid is allowed on two parts of the circuit at Nurburgring and can only be used when your car is within one second of the car ahead. Passive DRS is used to flow some air into the bottom of the rear wing to reduce the drag. Mercedes and Lotus are the only teams trying passive DRS at the moment."

  25. 1347: 
    Ron Howard

    We're not the only ones with motorsport movies on the mind, as Hollywood director Ron Howard is at the Nurburgring this weekend. He directed the James Hunt biopic Rush, which is due out in September. Wonder what his favourite motorsport movie is...

  26. 1345: 

    Fernando Alonso goes fourth quickest on his soft tyre run, but he's still 0.640 seconds off the pace set by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. His Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, meanwhile, is a further two tenths back in fifth place.

  27. 1342: 

    Huge moment for Adrian Sutil as he flies out of the final corner. The rear end steps out and he runs wide, bouncing across the gravel. The German does well to keep his Force India out of the barriers and bounce back on to the track.

  28.  

    Force India: The second part of our programme is performance runs on the softs. Time to beat that stopwatch!

  29.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "One of the highlights for any motorsport enthusiast visiting this place is the historic Nordschleife right next door. The track that held the German GP until it was banned for being too dangerous after Niki Lauda's fiery crash in 1976 remains intact and anyone can pay to drive on it - if they are brave enough. On Thursday, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg did rather more than that. They lapped it in historic Mercedes F1 cars - Hamilton in a 1938 W154 and Rosberg a 1954 W196.

    Hamilton says in his BBC Sport column on Friday that he pushed it as hard as he could in a couple of corners. He later summed up his admiration for F1's former stars: 'It's just incredible the power they had back then, having the brake on the right side and the throttle in the middle. Every time I went down the hill and every time I'd forget where the brake was, panic a little bit and my heart would be in my mouth. I felt like I was going to fall out of the car; I don't know how they did it. Driving around that track - which is just the greatest track in the world - without barriers or anything like that, just trees, I can't imagine the approach for one of those drivers on a race weekend knowing that any time it could be your last lap or your last corner.'"

  30.   
    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow

    "Caterham have just got the black masking tape out. Even though these F1 teams have lots of money, the quickest and easiest way to make changes to their cars is sticky tape!"

  31. 1337: 
    COVERAGE

    All coverage for the German GP this weekend is live here on the BBC Sport website through live text and audio commentary, as well as on 5 live sports extra.

    Final practice tomorrow is online from 0930 BST and on sports extra from 0955 BST. Qualifying is at 1255 BST on 5 live sports extra. TV Qualifying highlights are on BBC One & BBC One HD on Saturday at 1755 BST.

    Race coverage on Sunday is online from 1100 BST and on 5 live sports extra from 1230 BST. TV race highlights are on BBC One & BBC One HD at 1800 BST.

  32. 1334: 

    Championship leader Sebastian Vettel is marginally slower than Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, but is fastest in the second sector and then crosses the line to go quickest, 0.267 seconds fastest than anyone else.

  33.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Alison Mackey: Mercedes' form at the moment is no surprise - Lewis wouldn't have joined unless he knew the car would be competitive this season.

  34. 1331: 

    It looks like the softer tyre is holding up pretty well round here as Mark Webber improves by another two tenths with a second flying lap following a cool down lap. Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo improves again to go second, but he's 1.172 seconds adrift.

  35. 1328: 

    Red Bull's Mark Webber stretches his legs on the soft tyres, dipping down into the high 1m30s to extend his advantage to an impressive 1.150 seconds. The Australian loves the Nurburgring, having won his first F1 race at the venue in 2009.

  36. 1325: 

    Impressive stuff from Daniel Ricciardo - one of the drivers in the frame for Mark Webber's seat at Red Bull next season. The Australian goes fourth fastest, just a few tenths off the pace on the soft tyres.

  37.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Ferrari have struggled to get their front tyres up to the right temperature for qualifying. They have got the brake discs completely open to let the air in, which is opposite to Red Bull. They are also experimenting with the outboard end of the front wing."

    You can hear live coverage of second practice on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra right now.

  38. 1320: 

    Championship leader Sebastian Vettel pulls into the pits and is pushed back into the garage by his mechanics. Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey heads over from the pit wall to give the car a once over. He walks around the car, stopping at various points to have a closer look.

  39. 1318: 

    Nico Rosberg splits the Red Bulls to move into second, with Felipe Massa slotting his Ferrari into fifth, still 0.9 seconds off the pace. Massa's team-mate Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, is down in 15th, two seconds off the overall pace.

  40.  

    Williams development driver Susie Wolff, who is acting as a BBC Radio 5 live analyst: "Even though Valtteri Bottas is a rookie, his performances have been fantastic this season. He's finished every race and keeps working hard."

    You can hear live coverage of second practice on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra right now.

  41. 1316: 

    Championship leader Sebastian Vettel goes second quickest, but he's still a couple of tenths off the pace set of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber. That bumps Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg down to third and fourth respectively. Force India's Adrian Sutil is showing good pace, too, running seventh fastest, two places and one tenth quicker than team-mate Paul Di Resta.

  42. 1313: 

    Red Bull's Mark Webber, who has always out-qualified and finished ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel at the Nurburgring, shoots to the top of the timesheets with a mighty 1:31.790. That's just a few thousandths shy of Lewis Hamilton's leading time this morning.

  43.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Gary Linksted: Re 1237. Favourite motor racing themed movie HAS to be Le Mans, a real classic.

    David Edwards: Best motor racing movie has to be Driven, it's so bad, it's brilliant.

    Calum Edward: Nothing can compete with the stunning true drama of Senna.

    What's your favourite motor racing-themed movie? Tweet us using the #bbcf1 or text 81111, remembering to put your name on those texts.

  44. 1310: 

    There's not such good news for Nico Rosberg, though. The Mercedes driver, who was second quickest in first practice, is stuck in the garage while the team work away on his car. BBC Radio 5 live pit lane reporter Jennie Gow reports that they're focusing on the front end of the car.

  45. 1306: 

    At last Ferrari's Fernando Alonso completes a timed lap of the Nurburgring. It's nothing special, around 2.7 seconds off the pace, but it's progress considering he didn't set a single lap time in the morning session.

  46. 1303: 

    Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen is the early pace-setter, clocking a 1:33.537 which is one tenth quicker than Jenson Button in the McLaren. No timed laps from either Mercedes or Red Bull as yet, though.

  47. 1300: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    Time to get to work. Second practice for the German Grand Prix is go, go, go!

  48. 1257: 

    There's quite a lot of cloud cover at the Nurburgring, but the good news it's not raining so we should get plenty of running right from the off.

  49. 1253: 

    Ben Edwards will be back in the commentary box in a couple of minutes along with Williams reserve driver Susie Wolff with Jennie Gow in the pit lane.

  50.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "Force India's Paul Di Resta is hoping for a problem-free weekend after mistakes of one kind or another by his team in qualifying over the last three races have left him starting from close to the back - or in the case of Silverstone actually at it. His car was found to be underweight at the British Grand Prix, and the team claimed it was because Di Resta came up lighter than expected on the FIA scales. But after chewing the team out over the radio in Canada, he was remarkably calm about the situation. 'I've been eating a lot of pies!' he joked. 'I don't know what's gone on. When I got told, I couldn't help but laugh about it, but the sense of relief was I knew it didn't influence the qualifying result - I was fifth on merit. It was a kilo or something, and what is that, two-hundredths? You just go through these things, don't you?'"

  51. 1249: 

    Formula 1 drivers have made it clear they will not rush into a boycott of the German Grand Prix if there is a tyre failure at the event.

    On Thursday the Grand Prix Drivers' Association said they would "withdraw immediately" if there was a repeat of the British Grand Prix failures.

    GPDA chairman Pedro De La Rosa said on Friday if blow-outs occurred they would "look at the specific case and decide". He added: "It's about being sensible and analysing what happens."

  52. 1244: 

    First practice was a costly affair for Marussia reserve driver Rodolfo Gonzalez. The Venezuelan had the chance to take part in first practice, but broke the pit lane speed limit by approx 9mph and was handed a 1,000 euro fine (£860).

  53. 1241: 

    Mercedes will have been the happiest of the teams after first practice as Lewis Hamilton led Nico Rosberg at the top of the timesheets. Hamilton was 0.219 seconds quicker than Rosberg - and just over a second ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber in third.

  54.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "Fernando Alonso had a terrible time in first practice, not completing a lap after problems with his electronic control unit. The device was cutting his engine, but the problem was only happening in sector one of the track and in the garage. Ferrari have replaced it for this second session and Alonso will be keen to get going - he has ground to make up."

  55. 1237: 
    GET INVOLVED

    During the 90-minute break between sessions, the teams will have been busy with debriefs and lunch before heading back to the garage to get ready for the next session.

    Over at BBC HQ, the conversation turned to which motor racing-themed movie we could watch in that time period. According to the Internet Movie Database, it turns out there are quite a few - providing you're not bothered about the opening and closing credits or that many feature the moustachioed Burt Reynolds.

    Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit or The Last American Hero anyone? What's your favourite motor racing-themed movie? Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only).

  56. 1233: 

    Afternoon to those joining and welcome back to those returning for the final 90-minute session of the day ahead of Sunday's German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

  57. 1230: 

    Hello, anyone there? Yep, thought you would be. The whiff of petrol is in the air as the teams fire up the engines ready for second practice. Pull up a pew and buckle up, folks.

  58. 1100: 

    In the meantime, have a look at the Formula 1 pages, which features the latest of "Murray's Memories" that remembers the 2000 German Grand Prix when Rubens Barrichello pulls off a remarkable victory before crying his eyes out on the podium. See you in 90 minutes. Bye!

  59. 1057: 

    I'll be back at 1230 BST to begin building up to the last 90-minute session of the day, where Ferrari's Fernando Alonso will be hoping for better luck.

  60. 1052: 

    So as first practice sessions go, that wasn't so pretty decent. Let's hope for more of the same in the second session which starts at 1300 BST.

  61. 1047: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's report of first practice which includes some quotes from Ferrari development driver Pedro De La Rosa, who is the Grand Prix Drivers' Association chairman on the tyre situation.

    "The point is if there is a blowout, we will think about it, look at the specific case and decide," said the Spaniard.

  62.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Matt Smith: Mercedes looking good again- think @LewisHamilton is a real title contender!

  63. 1042: 

    Here's a state for those of you who like comparisons of how the pace changes over the years. Last time we were at the Nurburgring in 2011, the fastest time in first practice was a 1:31.9. Today, Lewis Hamilton was one and a half tenths quicker in his Mercedes.

  64. 1040: 

    Adrian Sutil looked pretty impressive, too. The Force India driver was fourth quickest, ahead of both Ferraris and Lotus plus reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel. The German was also seven tenths quicker than Force India team-mate Paul di Resta.

  65. 1036: 

    This was only first practice, of course, so it would be rash to come to any meaningful conclusions, but there's no doubting the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are very much in the fight for a third victory in four races.

    There were troubles at Ferrari, with Fernando Alonso not completing a single lap and Felipe Massa managing 18, seven fewer than each of the Mercedes drivers.

  66.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Neil Richards: Hamilton and Rosberg making a charge for the titles?! Lets hope so!!

  67. 1033: 
    FIRST PRACTICE STANDINGS

    1) Hamilton 2) Rosberg 3) Webber 4) Sutil 5) Raikkonen 6) Massa 7) Button 8) Vettel 9) Grosjean 10) Perez 11) Di Resta

    12) Hulkenberg 13) Ricciardo 14) Vergne 15) Maldonado 16) Bottas 17) Gutierrez 18) Pic 19) Chilton 20) Van der Garde 21) Gonzalez

    No time: Alonso

  68. 1030: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG
    Lewis Hamilton

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton finishes fastest in first practice for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.

  69. 1028: 

    Nico Rosberg improves by a tenth to close to 0.219 seconds of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The duo are looking very strong here, with their nearest competitor a second off the pace.

  70. 1026: 
    BRITWATCH

    So Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton is the top performing Brit at the moment, 1.3 seconds clear of countryman Jenson Button's McLaren in seventh. Force India's Paul di Resta is 10th, a further four tenths back while Max Chilton is 19th, 4.3 seconds off the overall pace.

  71.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "All season, Lewis Hamilton has been saying he does not quite feel comfortable in the Mercedes - and despite his stunning pole lap at Silverstone last weekend, almost half a second clear of the field, he says that is still the case. 'I don't know if I'm going to get that (sort of lap again) for a while,' he said. 'It was a nice lap, but I've not been feeling 100% in this car for some reason, but considering the results that I've had so far with that feeling I'm excited for the rest of the year.' Asked what the problem was, he said: 'I really don't know what it is. When you drive a Formula 1 car you really need to feel connected to it to be able to throw it in to places that other people can't; that's how you gain the advantage. It's an incredible car; just not as easy as what I've experienced before because I drove a car for a long period of time so every year it evolved and I've just arrived in a car that's been developed for Nico (Rosberg) and for Michael (Schumacher), so it's taking some time to adapt it to how I like to drive.'"

  72. 1021: 

    Lewis Hamilton still leads the way with a little under 10 minutes of this first session remaining. The 2008 world champion, who has a huge lock up down at Turn One which sees him run well wide, holds a three tenth advantage over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

    Mark Webber is third in his Red Bull, ahead of Force India's Adrian Sutil, Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

  73. 1018: 

    BBC F1 commentator Ben Edwards asked Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery if he has "absolute confidence" there will be no repeat of Silverstone? "Yeah," said Hembery.

  74.  

    Williams development driver Susie Wolff on 5 live sports extra: "It's been a tough start to the weekend for Ferrari. I really hope Massa can get a result. He's such a nice guy.

    "It's difficult to say if he's done enough for [a new contract] next year. Alonso will have a big say on who is his team-mate and he'll want someone he can work with. He doesn't one someone who has too strong a personality - maybe someone like Hulkenberg."

  75. 1015: 

    Championship contender Fernando Alonso is having a bit of a shocker at the Nurburgring. His car is up on the jacks and in pieces in the Ferrari garage. Though he got back out on track after his first problem, which happened within a few minutes of the start of the session, he peeled straight back into the pits and has yet to be seen again.

  76. 1010: 

    BBC Radio 5 live pit lane reporter Jennie Gow has managed to grab hold of the man of the moment - Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery. Here's what he has to say...

    "For 2014, we've got a blank sheet of paper in terms of data we have for new cars. As you can imagine, there will be some surprises. We don't want to be in situation where we can't make a change during the season. Equally we need to be able to test. For example at moment, there are no plans to go wet testing and yet half the season tends to be under water. So there are lots of details need to come together for next year."

  77.   
    Ben Edwards, BBC F1 commentator

    "Silverstone are opening up the young driver test to fans, so it's a great chance to go and see a Formula 1 car."

  78. 1005: 

    Williams development driver Susie Wolff, who is acting as a BBC Radio 5 live analyst for this session, on whether she will still take part in the young drivers' test at Silverstone after the FIA allowed the use of race drivers to test the tyres: "There were a couple of bad hours on Monday [when it was announced] and I was getting nervous. But I fully expect to drive in the young driver test."

  79. 1000: 

    Stonking lap from Adrian Sutil who goes third quickest in the Force India, 1.1 seconds off the pace. Felipe Massa improves in the Ferrari, too, to go sixth quickest.

  80.  

    Lewis Hamilton's race engineer over team radio: "We are seeing some technical issues with the DRS in the car, so look for the boards [on the circuit]."

  81. 0954: 

    Super little battle between the Mercedes drivers at the moment, trading fastest laps. Lewis Hamilton has the upper hand at the moment, 0.298 seconds quicker than Nico Rosberg. Both are at least a second quicker than anyone else. Kimi Raikkonen is best of the rest in third with 36 minutes remaining.

  82.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel loves his stats, but there is a particularly relevant one that he will not be so keen on. The German has never won his home race, and more than that he has never won a grand prix in July. In fact, Vettel's form at the Nurburgring has been surprisingly poor. He has only raced here twice in F1 and was trounced by team-mate Mark Webber, who always goes well at these sort of flowing road circuits, both times. You can be sure Vettel will be out to put things right, as he will doubtless see it."

  83.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Rob Valledy: Definitely another win for Mercedes. I reckon Lewis could take the race win, with Nico in second.

  84. 0948: 

    There's a familiar sight at the top of the timesheets as Lewis Hamilton goes quickest, at 1:32.349secs, with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg hanging on to his coat-tails in second, two tenths off the pace. Can the German team deliver victory on home soil for the first time in nearly 50 years?

  85. 0946: 

    Good news Fernando Alonso fans, the Spaniard's Ferrari has been returned to the garage and he's back in the car while the team work on what they think was an electrical problem.

  86. 0944: 

    Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon talking about the Grand Prix Drivers Association's boycott threat if there's a repeat of the tyre failures at Silverstone in this weekend's race on BBC Radio 5 live: "I have some sympathy with the feelings of the drivers.

    "They're the ones sat in the car so you can understand why feelings run very high within the driver community. Equally, there is no way we, or any of the other teams, would put our drivers in a position that we felt was unsafe. I think there is more than just the drivers looking."

  87. 0941: 

    The times are starting to tumble as more rubber gets put down at the Nurburgring, which offers up more grip. Red Bull's Mark Webber takes over at the top of the standings with a 1:33.047, half a second off the pace. McLaren's Jenson Button is second quickest, a few thousandths ahead of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, with Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen a further one tenth adrift.

  88.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "The new tyre being used here is not totally new to the teams. Pirelli took it to Canada last month as a development tyre and all the teams got a few laps on it. Problem was, it was a cool, damp day, so they were unable to form much of a conclusion. Friday's practice session here will be all about the teams learning about the tyre."

  89. 0939: 

    Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn told 5 live sports extra that he didn't know about last night's drivers' statement from the GPDA, but that it's "understandable". He added that he considered pulling his cars from Silverstone last weekend.

  90. 0937: 

    Mark Webber, who tasted victory in Formula 1 for the first time in his career at the Nurburgring in 2009, goes second quickest, three tenths off the pace. The Australian is then displaced by Romain Grosjean who slots into second, two tenths behind.

  91. 0935: 

    There's no Jules Bianchi in the Marussia for this session as the team's reserve driver Rodolfo Gonzalez is getting a run out. The Venezuelan has popped out for a couple of installation laps, with 55 minutes to go, but has yet to set a timed lap.

  92. 0931: 

    Next time around, Jenson Button slices five seconds off his previous best before improving by another second on his third timed lap of the day. His McLaren team-mate Sergio Perez pops into second, 1.7 seconds off the pace.

  93.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "The statement put out by the Grand Prix Drivers' Association on Thursday said the drivers - or at least those in the GPDA - would 'immediately withdraw' from the event if there were 'similar problems' to the tyre failures seen at Silverstone. The question is what exactly does that mean? It certainly leaves lots of wriggle room. From talking to senior drivers, it certainly does not mean that if there is one puncture they will all simply get out of their cars. The likelihood is they would finish the session they were in, try to find out what happened and then discuss it. Because obviously racing tyres can fail, however robust they are. That can never be ruled out. It's also worth saying that the drivers do not expect there to be any problems at this track - but they are seriously concerned about tracks such as Spa and Suzuka and are pleased Pirelli is planning to change the tyres fundamentally after this race."

  94. 0929: 

    Jenson Button crosses the line with a 1:39.929 for his first timed lap of the day in his McLaren. That's around nine seconds slower than Mark Webber's pole position time when we were last at the Nurburgring in 2011.

  95. 0924: 

    BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson has encouraging news for the rest of the day and into the weekend, too. "Cloudy but dry or mostly dry through morning; cloud tending to break later. Max temp 18-19C PM. Dry Sat-Sun," he said.

  96. 0920: 

    The last two first free practice sessions, at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and Silverstone, have both been hit by the wet stuff. But I'm pleased to say that's not the case this weekend. Sure, there's no need to get the sun cream and sunglasses out quite yet, but the track is dry - and that means good conditions for on-track running.

  97.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring

    "The FIA has just issued a statement stating that they will ensure the tyres are operated within certain parameters, such as minimum pressures and specified camber angles - the amount the wheel leans away from vertical. The tyres must also be mounted on the side of the car indicated by the markings on the tyre - teams have been finding an advantage in swapping the tyres around from one side to the other."

  98. 0916: 

    On the subject of tyres, again, Pirelli blamed the way F1 teams ran their cars, including running low tyre pressures, during the British Grand Prix for the series of tyre failures. McLaren's Jenson Button, whose team-mate Sergio Perez was one driver who suffered a failure at Silverstone, said in response: "We followed all of Pirelli's guidelines - on both cars." Either way, the sport's governing body, the FIA, have moved to clarify the rules.

  99. 0914: 

    It's all quiet out on track at the moment as the drivers seem content to sit in their garages and have a good old chinwag with their engineers. Over at Red Bull, team boss Christian Horner is deep in conversation with the team's advisor Helmut Marko.

  100.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has more to worry about than just whether his car will suit the new tyres. Although he ultimately finished third at Silverstone last weekend, and made up ground on Sebastian Vettel in the championship, after the German's Red Bull retired with gearbox failure, it was Ferrari's least competitive race of the year. Last weekend, they did not know why. Since then, they have been analysing data and will be looking to apply the lessons this weekend. 'We went very deep in the analysis of Silverstone,' Alonso said, 'knowing that we were not competitive. We saw some issues with the car in terms of aerodynamic characteristics at Silverstone in set-up maybe that we can do better. So we will try to improve here.'"

  101. 0911: 
    Fernando Alonso

    The marshals are still trying to move that stricken Ferrari out of the way. Fernando Alonso has had enough of hanging around and has jumped on the back of a moped bound for the pits.

  102. 0909: 

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has completed a timed lap, but it's a slow and steady 2:16.935. Certainly nothing to write home about.

  103.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "While everyone in F1's primary concern is the drivers' safety, there have inevitably been murmurings that the change of tyre specification will harm some teams and help others. Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, winner of the two of the last three years, said that was inevitable. Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, whose Ferrari and Lotus teams are considered the most likely to suffer, said they were not too worried about it. And Jenson Button put it all into perspective: 'The important thing is the safety issue. If one team gains 0.1secs on the others, so be it. We've got to run this tyre because it's a safer tyre, we don't want tyre explosions.'"

  104. 0906: 

    It's a miserable start for double world champion Alonso who peels off the track on his opening lap. The Spaniard climbs out of his car as the marshals head over to assist in moving the Ferrari out of harm's way. Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali paces up and down on the pit wall looking agitated.

  105. 0904: 
    MECHANICAL

    FERRARI'S FERNANDO ALONSO HAS STOPPED OUT ON TRACK.

  106. 0902: 

    Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel break the silence by heading out onto the track for their first inspection of this 5.148km circuit.

  107. 0900: 

    Practice for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring is go, go, go!

  108. 0855: 

    Ben Edwards is up and running in the BBC Radio 5 live commentary box. You can listen to his dulcet tones by clicking the link at the top right of this page.

  109. 0850: 
    GET INVOLVED

    What are your thoughts on the latest tyre-saga? What do you make of Mercedes' recent resurgence? Can Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg realistically challenge for the title? Can Sebastian Vettel end his miserable record of never having won a race in July? And what of McLaren's continued struggles?

    You know the drill. Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only). If you're using SMS, do remember to pop your name on those message, eh? Thanking you.

  110.  
    GET INVOLVED

    David Tyrrell F1: Can see Mercedes having a dominate weekend at the Nurburgring but I think they'll be a surprise in the mix.

  111.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "No-one really needs telling of the potential danger of a tyre failing on an F1 car at high speed, but Fernando Alonso drew a worrying picture of his experiences at Silverstone nonetheless. The Ferrari driver had a failure himself - but was fortunate that it happened at Stowe, the final corner before the pit entry. Then, as he was fighting to make up places in the closing laps, he was right behind Sergio Perez's McLaren when the Mexican's left rear tyre exploded. Alonso, who was doing 179mph and generated a force of 3.6G avoiding an impact, said: 'It was a dangerous situation. I committed to overtake Sergio on the left. I was lucky because maybe if I chose the right everything will hit my helmet. There are pieces of steel coming at 300km/h so it would be like a bullet or a knife so probably it will enter in the helmet or hit the outside of the helmet so it is not nice. Pirelli made some changes, we trust them, we think they solve the problem. They probably know how to do it and wait and see what we can have here and hopefully there will not be any more these problems that are not any good for the sport.'"

  112. 0846: 

    The Grand Prix Drivers' Association, which represents the vast majority of drivers, issued a statement on Thursday evening which said its members would boycott Sunday's German Grand Prix if there is a repeat of the tyre failures experienced at Silverstone.

    "If similar problems should manifest themselves during the German GP, we shall immediately withdraw from the event, as this avoidable problem with the tyres endangers again the lives of drivers, marshals and fans."

  113.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "Tyres are nobody's favourite subject at the best of times, and this is certainly not that. Six drivers suffered tyre failures at the British Grand Prix and Formula 1 has scrambled to find a solution in the intervening four days. Tyre supplier Pirelli has brought tyres of a different specification to this race. They have a 'belt - the internal structure running around the tyre - is made of Kevlar, a composite, rather than steel. All the drivers expressed their faith Pirelli had thereby solved the problems - and all seemed fine until the Grand Prix Drivers' Association issued their statement in the evening, once the media duties had been completed. Before that, Jenson Button, a GPDA director, said: 'We haven't seen an issue with this type of carcass. As far as I know it's very similar to what we had last year, using Kevlar instead of metal in the tyre. We didn't have any of these issues last year. Three days to sort that out is fantastic. It was a tough weekend for all of us, especially the drivers, but to turn it around is great.'"

  114. 0842: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    There wasn't much time to stand around and eat cake, though, as championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who retired from the lead of the British Grand Prix with a gearbox failure, was a man in demand with the media.

  115. 0839: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    There were celebrations in the Red Bull garage on Thursday as the team marked Sebastian Vettel's 26th birthday (which was actually on Wednesday). The German will be hoping it's the first of many reasons to eat cake ahead of his home race weekend.

    Vettel has never won the German Grand Prix nor won a race in July - it's the only month on the F1 calendar in which he has failed to triumph.

  116.  

    McLaren: "It's a cloudy start to Friday at the Nurburgring. Looks like we left the sunshine back [at the factory] in Woking."

  117.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at the Nurburgring:

    "The Nurburgring - like its neighbour Spa-Francorchamps - is famous for its capricious weather. Located in the Eifel mountains, just across the border from Spa, the area is said to produce its own climate, and rain always seems to be just around the corner; sometimes snow too, even in the summer. But not today, it seems - nor this weekend. It's a fine morning, but the mood at the track does not match it. There is tension in the air. After the tyre explosions of Silverstone, Pirelli has brought a new model of tyre here, and the drivers have threatened to boycott the race if there are similar problems. It is an anxious paddock that is about to witness the first practice session of the weekend."

  118.  

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso: "All set for free practice. We need a good weekend and be able to fight with the best."

  119. 0836: 

    We've got two 90-minute practice sessions coming up for you, with live audio commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra to sit alongside this text offering. The first session gets under way at 0900 BST, with the second at 1300. May I suggest you plan your day accordingly.

  120. 0833: 

    Hello and a very warm welcome to our live coverage of Friday practice for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, nestled deep in the heart of the Eifel mountains. It's round nine of the Formula 1 World Championship which has the familiar names of Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull at the top of the drivers' and constructors' championships respectively.

  121. 0830: 

    Tyres. Who would have thought that four round pieces of rubber would get so much airtime in pinnacle of motorsport - Formula 1 - this season, eh? Pirelli were once again the hot topic at Silverstone last Sunday when six drivers suffered tyres blow-outs. The Italian manufacturer has strengthened its tyres for this weekend's German Grand Prix - but which team and drivers will benefit or lose out from the tweaks?

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Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 202
2 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 191
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 131
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari 115
5 Finland V Bottas Williams 95
6 Germany S Vettel Red Bull 88
7 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 69
8 Great Britain J Button McLaren 60
9 Brazil F Massa Williams 40
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren 37
11 Mexico S Perez Force India 29
12 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 27
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso 11
14 France R Grosjean Lotus 8
15 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 6
16 France J Bianchi Marussia 2
17 Germany A Sutil Sauber 0
18 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham 0
19 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber 0
21 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia 0

Results

Position Driver Team

Second practice finished

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes
3 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
4 Brazil F Massa Williams
5 Great Britain J Button McLaren
6 Finland V Bottas Williams
7 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
8 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
9 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
10 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
11 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
12 Germany A Sutil Sauber
13 Mexico S Perez Force India
14 France R Grosjean Lotus
15 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber
18 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
19 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
20 A Lotterer Caterham
21 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
22 Germany S Vettel Red Bull