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The Formula Renault 3.5 challengers returned to the Nuburgring this afternoon for the second practice session of the weekend.

Sergey Sirotkin set the benchmark in morning running, leading his team mate Oliver Rowland to a Fortec Motorsports 1-2. However, unlike the first session, no one team dominated as the twenty-two driver grid was separated by just two seconds.

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A fast-finishing Roberto Merhi produced the quickest flying lap in the latter stages to top the overall time sheets at the historic German circuit. The Spaniard continued his impressive run of form to clinch the top spot for Zeta Corse two weeks after his race two win in Moscow.

Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly improved on his morning pace, crossing the line just two one-thousandths-of-a-second behind for Arden Motorsport. Once again, he outpaced his team mate William Buller who appeared back on form for fourth. The Arden pairing were separated by championship leader Carlos Sainz Jr.

Oliver Rowland was the highest placed Fortec in fifth, almost a second faster than Sergey Sirotkin earlier form could not be repeated. The Russian's time from the first session, a 1:42.898, saw him place tenth.

Meanwhile, long time leader Will Stevens was sixth fastest at the chequered flag. Lotus' Marlon Stockinger displaced Matias Laine, separating the two Strakka Racing drivers for seventh. Marco Sorensen was the fastest finishing Tech 1 model in ninth.

Returning after a back injury, Matthieu Vaxiviere missed out on the top ten and settled for eleventh, three tenths down on his Lotus team mate.

Cameron Twynham got the better of fellow d?butante Alfonso Celis Jr to finish Friday practice nineteenth overall for returning team Comtec Racing. Completing Tech 1's line up, Celis Jr was twenty-second.

Sainz Jr currently holds a thirty-three point lead over his fellow Red Bull youngster, Gasly. As he is the current championship leader, the Spaniard will enjoy a demonstration drive on the German tarmac in the title winning RB7 alongside Sebasiten Buemi.