Kubica leads as Ferrari look menacing.
Although rain provided a new factor to proceedings in second practice for the German Grand Prix, there was a familiar sight at the top of the timesheets by the end of the hour, with Robert Kubica going fastest.
With the circuit wet early on in the session, there was inevitably little enthusiasm among the teams to work on their wet weather set-up, although Williams and MF1 took the advantage of their third driver to get some mileage in, Alex Wurz and Markus Winkelhock circulating alone for the first half.
However, with temperatures at Hockenheim soaring, as they are across Europe currently, it did not take long for the intermediate conditions to give way to slick tyre running, with the drivers piling out of the pit lane late on to claim a good time.
The best time fell to Kubica though, the Pole rapidly becoming a seasoned front runner at the end of the Friday. Indeed, the BMW Sauber driver impressed his team, and their many German supporters, by also claiming the fastest time of the day, a tenth up on what Wurz managed in the morning.
The big news that came out of session however was the relative lack of pace from Renault and the subsequent speed shown by Ferrari.
Michael Schumacher delighted his home fans, getting away with using just one set of Bridgestone's on the way to claiming the second fastest time, while Felipe Massa backed him up with fifth quickest.
Renault though could only manage 11th and 15th place, with Giancarlo Fisichella leading Fernando Alonso. Although it is likely they are not showing their true form, it should be enough to start concerning a team already beginning to look second best compared to Ferrari.
Robert Doornbos gave Red Bull a taste of their potential with an excellent third fastest, while Kimi Raikkonen claimed the fourth best time, the Finn unusually deciding not to hold his cards close to his chest as he has done on numerous times this year. Pedro de la Rosa duly followed in eighth place.
Anthony Davidson was sixth best for Honda, while Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello's ninth and tenth place times will give the team reason to be confident going into qualifying.
Mark Webber ended a troubled day for Williams in seventh place. However, he was having to do the running for two drivers after Nico Rosberg failed to make it out in the second session, with reports now suggesting that he suffered a rear-wing failure in the morning session.
Jarno Trulli celebrated the announcement of his three-year deal with Toyota to go 12th best, just ahead of Ralf Schumacher, while early runners Winkelhock and Wurz had to be content with 14th and 16th best.
With Doornbos doing the considerable running up at the front, Red Bull worked on set-up rather than speed, ending up 17th and 20th for Christian Klien and David Coulthard respectively, while Tonio Liuzzi and Neel Jani splitting them in the Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Another team clearly allowing their test driver to do all the work were BMW Sauber, who were well down in 21st and 24th places, with Nick Heidfeld ahead of Jacques Villeneuve, while MF1 Racing's difficult morning, that included Christijan Albers engine problem, led to the Dutchman heading Tiago Monteiro in 22nd and 23rd.
Propping up the rear was Takuma Sato in his new Super Aguri. However, he can take heart in the fact that he was only a tenth adrift of 25th placed Scott Speed and a further tenth off Villeneuve. Sakon Yamamoto failed to appear after engine problems.
I like the idea of being menacing