Nico Rosberg was fastest yet again in final practice on Saturday for the German Formula One Grand Prix, while Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton escaped a grid penalty after an unsafe release.
German Rosberg, who set a top time of one minute 15.738 seconds, was also quickest in first and second practice on Friday on his home tarmac.
Hamilton has been second fastest on each occasion so far this weekend at Hockenheim and was 0.057 seconds behind on Saturday with his best lap.
The Briton, winning five of the past six races to overhaul Rosberg at the top of the driver standings, had a scare after being summoned to the stewards following final practice.
Mercedes were found guilty of an unsafe release in the pitlane which almost caused a collision between Hamilton and Romain Grosjean.
Mercedes said on Twitter the team had been fined but there was no punishment for Hamilton. He could have faced a 10-place grid penalty.
McLaren’s Jenson Button had to go to hospital on Friday after a carbon brake fragment landed in his eye. He said he was fine on social media but only managed a handful of laps in Saturday practice, with car – not eye – problems apparently to blame.
The forecast for Saturday qualifying is hot with some cloud while scattered showers are possible for Sunday’s race.
There will be no limitations on messages that teams can send to drivers, either by radio or pit board, this weekend after a F1 strategy group decision following controversy in previous races.