The chequered flag is out and that's the end of the session. Fernando Alonso saves his fastest lap for the final go round. He clocks a 1:31.894. Join me again just before 13:00 BST for the second free practice.
Free Practice 1
Follow the German Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 09:00 on 22 July 2011. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
Formula 1 fans can read breaking Formula 1 news, interviews, expert commentary and watch free replays. Don’t miss the upcoming Formula 1 events. Make Eurosport your go-to source for sports online from Formula 1 to football, tennis, snooker and more. Enjoy live streaming of this season’s top sports competitions.
Buemi, in the Torro Rosso, lifts into the air on the fifth turn and and completely beaches it. He just dips a wheel into the turn and gets caught out. Could've been dangerous.
Karthikeyan goes wide entering the NGK chicane and mounts the kurb on the exit. He's backs off before continuing his lap.
Apparently, the new Team Lotus driver, Chandhok, is not allowed in the pit lane as he only has a 'paddock only' pass.
There's a fair bit of traffic out on the circuit. I doubt there'll be any more rapid laps in this first free practice.
Kovalainen carries too much speed into turn five. It's cambered which probably deceives the Finn. He shows his rallying heritage to hold it together and get back on track.
Sutil's teammate is one place behind. Hulkenberg is now at ninth with a lap time of 1:33.858.
Force India's Adrian Sutil is up to eighth with his fastest lap time of the session. The 28-year old goes round in 1:34.096
It doesn't look like Alonso's lap time is going to be beaten unless they continue with the experimental soft tyres.
Webber moves up to second with a 1:32.217. Massa stands at fourth with a 1:32.681. Hamilton is fifth (1:32.996), Button in sixth (1:33.628).
Schumacher is off the track at the hairpin. The German gives the adoring fans a wave as he sorts himself out. Top PR.
Chandhok is propping up the table. With a lap time of 1:41.248 he is almost five seconds off his teammates.
Something's gone a bit wrong on Heidfeld's Renault. A section of the car is getting too hot near the exhaust. It's peeling his stickers off.
Alonso is getting better. He's very quick in the first and last sectors and continues to lead - that's a time of 1:31.981.
Webber is improving with every lap in the Red Bull. He moves up one place to third. On the soft tyres he clocks a lap of 1:32.599.
Schumacher locks up on the first corner but the outside rear of his car steps out. That's not something that he'll be happy with. At all.
I can't keep up with all this. Alonso finds more on his very next lap on that soft rubber. He's top of the pile in 1:32.037.
Vettel moves further away from the former World Champion. He's two thousandths of a second quicker with a 1:32.534.
Fernando Alonso is within three hundreths of a second of Vettel. He's now up to second with a quick time of 1:32.574.
Schumacher is out of the pits. Hulkenberg moves up three positions to 12th with a time of 1:36.077.
Glock collides with the kerb hard at the chicane. They're the sort of things that you need to experiment with in the practice though. Things like that could shave some time off your lap.
Button is trying a new rear wing in this first session. It has a more powerful DRS overtaking aid but a little less overall downforce. Maybe that's why he's slower...
Mercedes' Jensen Button is six tenths slower than his teammate Hamilton having done three laps more.
Vettel has brought the Red Bull back into the pits after an eight lap run. He's still top of the pile, for the moment.
Massa has found some speed on the medium compound, making his way up to eighth fastest in his Ferrari.
One of the many home favourites, and the leading racer in the 2011 season, Sebastian Vettel improves upon his fastes lap time. He's still on top of Lewis Hamilton, who is currently in the pits, with a lap time of 1:32.536
Karun Chandhok, who has replaced Jarno Trulli this weekend, gets around in a laboured 1:41.268.
Vettel is off to a flier. His first lap time gets him into eighth with a 1:37.620 but he improves upon that considerably and is now on top of Hamilton with a 1:32.760.
The Aussie Mark Webber is the next driver to lock up on that first turn. That won't do his lap time the world of good.
Renault's Vitaly Petrov gets around the German track in 1:36.979. Mercedes' Nico Rosberg manages a lap time of 1:34.724
Hamilton cuts across the chevrons on his way into the pits. I'm not too sure he'll be allowed to do that in qualifying and during the race on Sunday. He's not a stranger to controversy is he?
Hamilton's gone quicker yet again. He's still the fastest man out there on 1:32.996. Rosberg stands in second followed by Michael Schumacher and Jaime Alguersuari.
Barrichelo locks up on the entry into turn one. It's so easy to do it there as the track plummets. A number of racers will do that today...
The Brit Hamilton improves upon his last lap time. It's today's fastest and stands at 1:33.576.
Lewis Hamilton now has the fastest lap time. The McLaren man has just recorded a time of 1:34.982.
Renault are still running on different exhausts. Heidfeld is using the rear-facing exhaust whilst his teammate Vitaly Petrov runs using the forward-facing model.
Just to let you know, the official lap record at the Nurburgring is held by Takuma Sato. The Japanese racer clocked a time of 1:27.6
Sergio Perez puts in a lap time of 1:40.4.
Renault's Nick Heidfeld has just recorded the first official lap time of this free practice. The German gets around the Nurburgring in 1:37.987
A few of the drivers have gone out on the softer tyres. One of them is Britain's Lewis Hamilton who also locks up early on. That soft tyre is a new version from Pirelli, who are evaluating it during today's practice, by the way.
Chandhok has just been on the radio to his Lotus team. He seemed to lock up in a corner. It appears that his left mirror has fallen off.
Glock's fellow Virgin driver has just gone round in a slightly slower time of 1:24:463
Timo Glock has just recorded a split time of 1:22:355.
The German Grand Prix is the halfway point of the 2011 season. Sebastian Vettel currently leads the way by a huge 80 points. The next couple of days will be able to tell us if anybody is able to mount a serious challenge on the German driver.
The weather in Germany is looking pretty dull. Grey clouds cover the sky over the Nurburgring, but there's no rain. Not yet anyway.
Apologies about my slow start. We've had a few technical problems but we're all sorted now. Felipe Massa is the first driver to go past the pit straight without pulling in.
The first practice session is under way.