He’s spent the vast majority of the 2011 campaign in the shade of championship-leading team-mate, but if Mark Webber can beat Sebastian Vettel anywhere this season then the German’s home event might be a good place to do it. The Aussie topped the afternoon practice session today, as the same four drivers found themselves in the top positions as in this morning’s run

The Australian – pole sitter and winner at the Nürburgring circuit in 2009 – set a best of 1.31.711 to beat morning session-topper Fernando Alonso by 0.168s, with Vettel third a further two-tenths adrift. Felipe Massa was again fourth in the second Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher – who has a corner, two toilets and a jar of pickles named faster him at the Nürburgring – ended Friday strongly, showing impressive pace register the fifth fastest time of the day aboard his Mercedes. Team-mate Rosberg, who is yet to get anything named after him, was next fastest.

Lewis Hamilton was again the faster of the McLaren drivers but, as in the morning run, found himself well adrift of the pacesetters. Ending the session in P7, he was over a second off Webber. Team-mate Jenson Button was a further half a second back in P11.

Between the McLarens, and completing the top ten, were Renault duo Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov and Force India’s Adrian Sutil. The German wrote of a Gumpert Apollo on Thursday but has been seriously quick today.

Both rookie Daniel Ricciardo and Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi got little track time in FP2, the former pulling up with a smoking Cosworth engine and the latter suffering a misfire on his machine. Meanwhile the Virgin cars – which had looked worryingly, slow in the morning session – recovered for the second run, with Glock out-pacing Lotus newboy Karun Chandhok in P19 and Jerome d’Ambrosio in P21.

Third practice takes place tomorrow morning before qualifying gets underway at 2pm local time.