Nico Rosberg's bid to bounce back from last weekend's last-lap collision with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton took a blow at Silverstone on Friday, as he was ruled out of the second free practice session.
The German's aggressive defence of his lead in Austria led to contact between his own car and that of Hamilton in the closing stages, resulting in Rosberg slipping to fourth and being handed a 10-second penalty as the Briton claimed victory.
But after running Hamilton close in FP1 on Friday, an unspecified problem - thought to have caused a water leak - denied Rosberg some valuable track time.
Hamilton, having posted a quickest time of one minute and 31.654 seconds on the medium compound tyre in the opening session, went just six hundredths slower on a set of softs in FP2.
But the consistent pace of the Red Bulls will likely give Mercedes food for thought.
While Hamilton's quickest lap of the second session was almost half a second quicker than second-placed Daniel Ricciardo, with Max Verstappen in third, the Red Bull drivers proved better able to keep a steady pace and appear set to be the main challengers to Hamilton and Rosberg this weekend.
Sebastian Vettel tested the 'Halo' cockpit safety device during FP1 having postponed a similar trial run scheduled for Austria last week.
But it was a frustrating second session for Ferrari, who saw both drivers finish behind the Red Bulls and may now be fearing for their second-placed position in the constructors' championship, in which they have a 24-point cushion.
Vettel, finished fourth, while Kimi Raikkonen - who was confirmed as a Ferrari driver for 2017 earlier in the day - was fifth.
Elsewhere, Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat suffered front wing damage after hitting a kerb, while McLaren duo Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button qualified sixth and ninth respectively.