Both Red Bull drivers admitted that Friday at Hockenheim was not easy, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber (together with the rest of the F1 field) running through changeable conditions that limited the work teams could do on evaluating their tyres and car ahead of the weekend.
In an opening session which was dominated by heavy rain the Red Bull pair finished eleventh and 14th, Vettel's lap time of 1:28.735 just over three-tenths faster than Webber's best lap during the 90 minute session.
However, the team returned to the brand of place they have proven capable of in the second session, which featured improved, though still not flawless weather.
Vettel and Webber took full advantage of the better conditions logging second and fourth fastest times. Despite having what he described as “a bit of rallying” through the gravel of the track's Stadium section the German was once more faster than his Australian teammate, Vettel's time of 1:16.294 this time just under three tenths faster than Webber, who completed 40 laps during the session – amongst the most of anybody.
As well as the degree of difficulty through the day both drivers ended Friday in agreement over the most likely source of any challenge to their assumed dominance over the weekend.
Ferrari – after Fernando Alonso ran the best time of the day to lead the second practice session.
Webber described them as “strong” and Vettel called them “extremely competitive”, though he acknowledged McLaren's struggles as they once more tried out their own blown diffuser concept after abandoning at Silverstone a fortnight ago.