Lewis Hamilton just beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to the fastest time in second practice for the German Grand Prix as the two look closely matched ahead of this weekend's race.
After making a mistake on his first super-soft tyre run, Rosberg was fastest in the first and third sectors but still fell 0.024s short of Hamilton's best lap. Rosberg briefly held the top spot ahead of Daniel Ricciardo before Hamilton popped up with a quicker effort.
Ricciardo's time was just 0.102s shy of Hamilton's best, but the Red Bull driver was pushing to the limit and beyond at the first and final corners. Kimi Raikkonen managed the fourth fastest time in his Ferrari with a lap 0.546s off the pace, just ahead of Kevin Magunussen. Felipe Massa made it five different teams in the top six with a lap time of 1:19.024.
Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas were next in order to ensure the same five teams locked out the top ten. Adrian Sutil was just outside the top ten after an impressive two practice sessions at his home race, with just over a second splitting the Mercedes at the front and his Sauber in 11th.
High temperatures took their toll on the cars with Marcus Ericsson stopping on track early in the session and Caterham team-mate Kamui Kobayashi coming to a halt with flames spitting from the back of his car. Rosberg brakes started to overheat and smoke when he had to wait in the pit lane to be serviced at Mercedes behind Hamilton and a similar thing happened at Lotus as the team botched a practice pit stop.
The super-soft Pirellis also appeared to be struggling with the heat as track temperatures hit 58C. Replays showed big bits of rubber shredding from the tyre through some corners as they appeared to blister on the outer edges. After a season with very few tyre complaints, the images showed just how extreme the conditions were on track, although rain on race day may mean it is not an issue for the rest of the weekend.