McLaren and Ferrari look set for a close battle at the European Grand Prix after both topped the timesheets in Friday's two practice sessions.
Hamilton was fastest in the morning session
Briton Lewis Hamilton was fastest at the Nurburgring for McLaren in the morning, while Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was quickest in the afternoon session.
Hamilton set the fastest lap overall with one minute 32.515 seconds compared to Finn Raikkonen's 1:33.339.
Fernando Alonso, team-mate of Hamilton, trailed the pair in both runs.
Hamilton and McLaren are looking to reassert their authority at the top of the drivers' and constructors' standings after Ferrari's recent resurgence.
Raikkonen has won the last two races but was second to Hamilton by 0.236 seconds at the end of the first session.
Hamilton has been suffering from flu since last Sunday and had been ordered to rest on Wednesday after his media engagements.
He recovered enough to continue his impressive form this season and again overshadow world champion Alonso, who was third and fourth respectively in the two sessions.
Hamilton had to make do with second fastest later on as he wrestled with Raikkonen on a wetter track after a midday shower to claim top spot.
The 22-year-old endured a spin on to a run-off area near the end of the session but appears in a strong position to challenge for a third win of the season.
"I don't feel 100%, but I'm still able to get out on track and drive as normal
as always," said Hamilton.
I feel quite confident about this weekend, quite optimistic
"It's almost like you switch off from any problems you have and you just do
your job. Physically I think I'm going to be OK.
"As for the car, that feels a bit better this weekend. We have a slightly
better balance, so I feel more comfortable in the car.
"I feel quite confident about this weekend, quite optimistic. It's going to be
a good battle with the Ferraris."
Hamilton is 12 points ahead of Alonso in the drivers' standings, with Raikkonen 18 adrift and the Finn's Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa one point further back.
And Alonso said: "There are still four drivers fighting for the championship.
"All of them have opportunities to win, but the one with the best is Lewis because he's first and leading with 12 points.
"The second who has the best chance is me, because I'm second now, and then there is Raikkonen and Massa.
"The positions are always important and the points advantage as well, but that is the order of the favourites."
European Grand Prix Friday first practice times:
1. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.515
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari +0.236
3. Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren-Mercedes 0.417
4. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 0.460
5. Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 0.690
6. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1.090
7. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1.310
8. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1.421
9. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Renault 1.547
10. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda 1.627
11. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1.637
12. Alexander Wurz (Aut) Williams-Toyota 1.830
13. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Toyota 2.048
14. Anthony Davidson (GB) Super Aguri-Honda 2.052
15. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 2.168
16. Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri-Honda 2.193
17. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2.392
18. Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Renault 2.406
19. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 2.562
20. Scott Speed (US) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 3.128
21. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Spyker-Ferrari 3.825
22. Markus Winkelhock (Ger) Spyker-Ferrari 4.601
European Grand Prix Friday second practice times:
1. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:33.339
2. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 0.139
3. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 0.251
4. Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren-Mercedes 0.298
5. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 0.329
6. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 0.407
7. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Toyota 0.506
8. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 0.541
9. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 0.807
10. Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 0.882
11. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 0.896
12. Alexander Wurz (Aut) Williams-Toyota 0.925
13. Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri-Honda 1.018
14. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda 1.072
15. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 1.092
16. Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Renault 1.107
17. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Renault 1.165
18. Anthony Davidson (GB) Super Aguri-Honda 1.215
19. Scott Speed (US) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.981
20. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2.314
21. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Spyker-Ferrari 3.188
22. Markus Winkelhock (Ger) Spyker-Ferrari 3.980