Championship leader Fernando Alonso secured his second consecutive pole, outpacing his rivals in a wet qualifying session for the German Grand Prix.
The Spaniard was four-tenths of a second faster than his nearest rival, after Ferrari made an inspired decision to change him onto wet tyres just minutes before the heavens opened in Hockenheim.
The day was a success for Red Bull, with Sebastian Vettel in second, despite the rain being so fierce it forced the German to change his helmet during the session.
Mark Webber finished third although he will face a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
It was another disappointing day for McClaren who promised so much during practice.
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton finished in 7th and 8th respectively and will now have to rely on a good race day to salvage the weekend. They will both start one place higher thanks to Webber's penalty.
It was a better day for home favourite Michael Schumacher. The seven-time champion was fourth fastest but will start third. Another German, Nico Hulkenberg, will be alongside him in fourth.