Hamilton rules out making a run for pole as Webber excels

Red Bull's Mark Webber edged out Fernando Alonso and got his own back on world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel by going quickest in the second practice session yesterday for the German Grand Prix.

Click HERE for graphic: Nürburgring: Where the race can be won and lost (183.65kB)

The Australian, ordered not to overtake runaway championship leader Vettel late in the recent British Grand Prix, surged round the dry track here in a best lap of 1min 31.711sec to outshine the German home favourite.

Ferrari's Alonso, who won at Silverstone, had topped the timesheets in the first practice (1:31.894) and was leading in the second session before finding the gravel and later skidding when trying to overtake.

Vettel was third fastest with Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa fourth and seven-times champion Michael Schumacher fifth to the delight of the long-suffering Mercedes fans in the stands.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was again over a second slower than the quickest driver for the second straight session with team-mate Jenson Button even worse after technical issues.

Afterwards, Hamilton ruled out pole position for McLaren this weekend and the 2008 world champion was also fined ¤1,200 (£1,060) for speeding in the pitlane. "We definitely can't challenge for pole. Having said that we don't know what fuel [load] they [rival teams] are on," he said.

"I think our race pace is perhaps closer than we had in the last race [at Silverstone] which is a good thing but over a single lap, they have definitely got about a second on us. We are pushing as hard as we can, the car's feeling pretty good."

While Hamilton was seventh quickest in the second session, Button could only manage the 11th best time with the pair now realising that any hope of a title tilt this year is all but over.

With 10 races remaining, both McLaren drivers are 95 points adrift of Red Bull's world champion Sebastian Vettel. "It was one to forget, it's been a pretty tricky day," said Hamilton, fearing rain for today's qualifying and possibly tomorrow's race.

"All afternoon I haven't had KERS. I had a problem with the exhaust but it's a test part on the car and it failed."

The Britons had expected to be quicker this weekend than in their home Grand Prix after teams decided to revert to pre-Silverstone engine regulations after a row over the aerodynamic use of exhaust gases.

However, Ferrari remained faster even if little can be gleaned from practice with different set-ups and tyres being trialled.

Heavy showers and even a hailstorm had hit on Thursday but despite the usual threatening clouds in the Eifel mountains, the teams were able to get through their routines undisturbed.

Toro Rosso's Sébastien Buemi suffered the only big incident in the first outing when he spun off and failed to lodge a time in the second session because of engine trouble.

A decent crowd, which had earlier clogged the roads in the isolated area of western Germany, was in attendance with Force India reserve driver Nico Hülkenberg taking the first session instead of Paul di Resta, meaning seven Germans were on track.

Briton Di Resta returned for the second practice as did Vitantonio Liuzzi after reserve Narain Karthikeyan had taken the Hispania car out first.

Fellow Indian Karun Chandhok struggled for pace in the Team Lotus having been given the drive in place of Jarno Trulli on Thursday.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week