Williams lost both its drivers in the second part of qualifying for the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, Alex Wurz unable to haul himself out of the drop zone and Nico Rosberg finding himself dumped into the bottom six by late improvements elsewhere.

While the 'big four' decided not to rejoin the track as everyone else ventured out in search of an improvement, twelve drivers were left to scrap over six places in the top ten shoot-out. Most may have found time but failed to improve their position, including Anthony Davidson and Giancarlo Fisichella, while Wurz climbed from 14th to eleventh but had no time to make any further gain.

When Mark Webber improved to seventh, however, Rosberg was pushed back into his team-mate, missing a top ten slot by little over a tenth. The Williams duo were joined in the bottom six by Fisichella, Rubens Barrichello and the two Super Aguris, Davidson and Takuma Sato having not made it out of the bottom six.

Felipe Massa took his turn at the head of the timesheets with the first lap under 1min 31secs, while Fernando Alonso narrowly missed toppling the Brazilian after also ducking under the previous benchmark. Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen - who shared the three practice sessions between them - filled third and fourth places respectively.

The two BMW Saubers, Webber, Heikki Kovalainen, Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli - who spun on his last run - complete the top ten.

 

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