Lewis Hamilton stole Sebastian Vettel's thunder in Friday's second practice in Germany, beating the local favourite to the P1 slot.
Hamilton, who has had a miserable season with McLaren to date, showed some signs of promise as he crossed the line with a 1:32.149, edging Vettel by 0.182s.
Third place went to Brawn GP's Jenson Button, who wasn't far off the pace, just 0.2s behind his fellow Brit.
Report: With the track temperature up to 20'C and thick cloud cover overhead, Sebastian Vettel got proceedings underway in the weekend's second practice session. The German, who stopped out on track due to a loose electrical connector in Practice One, led out a string of cars as the drivers set about covering their installation laps. Vettel, though, almost came together with Seb Bourdais as he dived down the inside, looking to start the first timed lap of the afternoon.
Vettel clocked a 1:37.646 but was quickly overhauled by fellow German Timo Glock. Glock too lost out as his team-mate Jarno Trulli went quickest with a 1:37.180. Nick Heidfeld, Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica and Seb Buemi queued up behind them on the timesheets. Vettel returned to the P1 slot, posting a 1:35.577 as the first few drops of rain began to fall. Glock improved to second place ahead of Trulli, Kubica and Buemi.
Giancarlo Fisichella was the first to fall foul of the wet weather as the Roman put his car onto the wet white paint, which put him into a slide that ended with his Force India making contact with a barrier at the Michelin Kurve. Game over for Fisichella.
After a brief rain break the drivers returned to the track with Nico Rosberg taking eighth place on his first timed lap of the afternoon. The German moved up to second place on his next lap before being dropped as Heikki Kovalainen went quickest, the first driver to use the super softs. He did a 1:34.906 only to take more than a second off his time on his second timed lap.
With all the drivers out on track, excluding Kovalainen, Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, the timesheets continued to change with Kazuki Nakajima taking second place ahead of Rosberg before Rosberg moved ahead and Massa slotted in between the Williams pairing. Fernando Alonso went fifth ahead of his team-mate Nelson Piquet but that too changed when Trulli put his Toyota into third place.
Nick Heidfeld was the next to take the P1 slot only to lose out to Mark Webber seconds later. Jenson Button went fourth and Alonso fifth. Vettel had problems going into Turn 1, forcing him onto the run-off area as he overshot the braking point. The German later moved up to fourth place, moments after Button took third.
Raikkonen improved from the bottom of the timesheets to fifth place while Hamilton moved up to ninth. The McLaren driver continued his climb up the order taking sixth place behind Glock. Glock's team-mate Trulli also upped his pace, going second quickest with Nakajima third.
The order of play changed as Button took control, going quickest with a 1:32.369, putting him 0.2s ahead of Webber while Adrian Sutil put in another stellar performance to take third place. Trulli improved to second place, 0.142s behind Button. Barrichello slotted into fifth place, finishing finding a similar sort of pace to his pace-setting team-mate's.
Hamilton was the next to put in a charge as he moved up to second place, just 0.044s behind Button before the two Brits were dropped by Vettel's climb up the order. He went quickest with a 1:32.342.
The final few minutes saw a mad rush from the 19 drivers remaining in the session with Hamilton taking the P1 slot and although Vettel closed the gap, he wasn't able to overhaul the McLaren man.
01 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:32.149 23 laps
02 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:32.331 31 laps
03 J. Button Brawn GP 1:32.369 32 laps
04 M. Webber Red Bull 1:32.480 28 laps
05 J. Trulli Toyota 1:32.511 32 laps
06 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:32.585 32 laps
07 R. Barrichello Brawn GP 1:32.664 26 laps
08 F. Alonso Renault 1:32.774 24 laps
09 K. Nakajima Williams 1:32.872 32 laps
10 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:32.992 29 laps
11 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:33.012 36 laps
12 F. Massa Ferrari 1:33.052 34 laps
13 N. Rosberg Williams 1:33.128 34 laps
14 R. Kubica BMW 1:33.161 28 laps
15 T. Glock Toyota 1:33.172 34 laps
16 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:33.182 29 laps
17 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:33.724 27 laps
18 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:33.903 30 laps
19 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:34.025 30 laps
20 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:38.877 3 laps
Source : Planet F1