Lewis Hamilton pipped Sebastian Vettel by just four hundredths of a second to take pole position for tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix.
Mercedes looked quite slow throughout Friday with everyone blaming absence from Young Drivers Test for lack of pace. Come qualifying, Mercedes W04 transformed into a top challenger on which Lewis Hamilton put on a sensational lap to take his fourth pole position of the season and 30th of his career.
After the first runs, Vettel looked set to take pole after his lap time on fresh options was eight tenths faster than rest of the field. But Lewis Hamilton put on a blistering lap on his second run to take provisional pole from Romain Grosjean. Vettel's second came after the Brit but he failed to beat by just 0.038 of a second.
Behind Vettel, Grosjean qualified in 3rd place after looking strong throughout the weekend and looking as Red Bull's strongest challenger.
Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes could only manage P4. His lap time of 1:197.20 was over three tenths slower than Hamilton's benchmark.
Fernando Alonso, meanwhile qualified in 5th place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn would be banking on Lotus' strong race pace, particularly in hotter conditions.
Felipe Massa was 7th fastest in the second Ferrari after narrowly making it into Q3. Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez were sole Q3 runners for Toro Rosso and McLaren - they start the Hungarian Grand Prix from 8th and 9th on the grid.
Mark Webber had a frustrating day after KERS issue prevented him from challenging Vettel for pole position. He didn't set a lap time in Q3 and starts the race from 10th place.
Force India's Adrian Sutil narrowly missed out of Q3 and starts his 100th Grand Prix from 11th place ahead of Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren's Jenson Button. The British driver was disappointed after a poor qualifying session and admitted he just couldn't get a good tidy lap. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that team has made a step forward with the car.
Jean Eric Vergne in the sitter Toro Rosso could only qualify in 14th place ahead of Williams pairing of Maldonado and Bottas. The Frenchman's time in Q2 was half a second slower than his teammate who eventually made it into Q3.
The big shock came in Q1 where Paul di Resta in a struggling Force India failed to make his way into Q2. He starts the race from 18th place.
1 LC Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1'19.338
2 S Vettel (GER) Red Bull 1'19.426
3 R Grosjean (FRA) Lotus 1'19.595
4 N Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1'19.720
5 F Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 1'19.791
6 KM Räikkönen (FIN) Lotus 1'19.851
7 F Massa (BRA) Ferrari 1'19.929
8 D Ricciardo (AUS) Toro Rosso 1'20.641
9 S Perez (MEX) McLaren 1'22.398
10 M Webber (AUS) Red Bull -
11 A Sutil (GER) Force India 1'20.569
12 N Hülkenberg (GER) Sauber 1'20.580
13 J Button (GBR) McLaren 1'20.777
14 JE Vergne (FRA) Toro Rosso 1'21.029
15 P Maldonado (VEN) Williams 1'21.133
16 V Bottas (FIN) Williams 1'21.219
17 E Gutiérrez (MEX) Sauber 1'21.724
18 P di Resta (GBR) Force India 1'22.043
19 C Pic (FRA) Caterham 1'23.007
20 G van der Garde (NED) Caterham 1'23.333
21 J Bianchi (FRA) Marussia 1'23.787
22 M Chilton (GBR) Marussia 1'23.997