Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso were the top two drivers in the second practice session as they had been in the first – but this time Webber led the way.
Alonso was quickest earlier in the session, swapping best times with team mate Felipe Massa.
He used the race-specification soft tyres to set his best time but it was a somewhat messy run that included a few aborted efforts, one as he ran wide at the Dunlop hairpin.
Webber took to the track shortly afterwards and found a tenth of a second to better Alonso’s time, then a few hundredths more on his subsequent effort.
Vettel couldn’t quite match his team mate’s time and for the second session in a row Webber was the faster of the two.
Massa took fourth in front of the two Mercedes. Schumacher nearly had a run-in with Alonso who tried to pass him at the Dunlop hairpin. Alonso took to the grass, skidded sideways and narrowly missed the Mercedes.
Alonso had another encounter with Vitaly Petrov at the end of the session, oversteering close to the Renault as the went through turn three side-by-side.
Both McLarens were behind the Mercedes and Jenson Button ran into trouble after testing a new exhaust development, his session ending 15 minutes before the chequered flag.
Also in trouble was Daniel Ricciardo, whose HRT began belching smoke after five laps and coming to a halt.
Sebastien Buemi joined the track early in the session following his spin at the end of first practice, but wasn’t able to set a time due to an engine problem.
2011 German Grand Prix
- Rate the race result: 2011 German Grand Prix
- 2011 German Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your German GP driver of the weekend
- McLaren: Surprise win in Germany for Hamilton
- Red Bull: McLaren and Ferrari ahead in Germany
- Ferrari: Alonso beats Red Bulls despite cool weather
- Mercedes: Three-stopper costs Rosberg a place
- Force India: Sutil helps team overtake Toro Rosso
- Renault: Petrov dissatisfied with strategy
- Sauber: Kobayashi out in Q1 but claims points
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