Kimi Raikkonen got his own back on Lewis Hamilton in second practice for the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, his late flying lap enough to see him emerge with the fastest time.

With the circuit drying through the 90 minutes from the earlier storm that blighted practice runners for the GP2 Series, the times could not come close to those set in the morning session.

Nevertheless, it was Hamilton that was once again setting the pace for the majority of the session, but after denying Raikkonen in the morning, the Finn did enough to keep the Brit behind him. Then again, Hamilton did not help his own cause when he spun off whilst on his fastest lap.

Still, things between the top four drivers, including Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in third and fourth respectively, remain relatively close, just three tenths separating the quartet. It all serves to provide a curtain raiser to what could be for the remainder of the weekend.

The 'best of the rest' didn't fare so badly either though, with just one second covering the first 12 positions, led in fifth and sixth by the Toyota pairing of Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli. Bringing an end to a strong day for the duo, Toyota will hope it won't prove to be something of a false dawn as it was at Silverstone.

Nico Rosberg was an encouraging seventh for Williams, while Nick Heidfeld in ninth ensured the German contingent were well represented in the top ten.

Still, BMW were not as on the pace in the afternoon as they were in the morning, Heidfeld being shadowed by team-mate Robert Kubica in tenth, both of them behind the Honda of Jenson Button, the Brit putting together a late flyer to vault from the worst end of the top twenty to a more than respectable eighth.

Just missing top ten spots were Mark Webber, Alex Wurz and Takuma Sato in eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth, all of which having been classified inside the top ten before slipping out amongst a flurry of late flying laps.

Rubens Barrichello was a modest 14th fastest, but at least he was ahead of both Renaults, Giancarlo Fisichella this time leading Heikki Kovalainen. Nonetheless, 15th and 16th for the duo will leave the team scratching their heads, not least because they were even lower in the morning session.

David Coulthard was another the drop as the session progressed, eventually finishing up 17th, ahead of countryman Anthony Davidson, while Scott Speed and Vitantonio Liuzzi completed the top twenty.

Spyker again filled the final two slots, Markus Winkelhock slowest again but closing the gap to team Adrian Sutil to eight tenths. However, he did spin out mid-session, leaving him with precious little running heading into qualifying.

 

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