Lewis Hamilton secured a record-extending 87th pole position on Saturday when he made the most of a double disaster for Ferrari in qualifying at the German Grand Prix.
The defending five-time world champion, who had struggled for pace and consistency in his Mercedes in practice, improved to clock a best lap in one minute and 11.767 and outpace Max Verstappen of Red Bull by 0.346 seconds.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third ahead of Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull while Charles Leclerc, who had been fastest for Ferrari in final practice, failed to run in the Q3 top-ten shootout due to a technical problem with his car.
The Moneqasque will start 10th, 10 places ahead of his luckless Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel who was unable to take part in qualifying due to a turbo problem and will start at the back of the grid for his home race.
Kimi Raikkonen was fifth for Alfa Romeo ahead of Romain Grosjean of Haas, Carlos Sainz of McLaren, Sergio Perez of Racing Point and Nico Hulkenberg of Renault.
"Congratulations Lewis – you never stop amazing us," said Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff as the Briton drove his slow-down lap.
"Thanks, Toto," he replied. "A great job guys – I don't know how we did that."
The starting grid for Sunday's German Grand Prix following the final qualifying sessions on Saturday:
Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)
Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda)
Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes)
Pierre Gasly (FRA/Red Bull-Honda)
3rd rowKimi Raikkonen (FIN/Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari)
Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas-Ferrari)
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/McLaren-Renault)
Sergio Perez (MEX/Racing Point-Mercedes)
Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Renault)
Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari)6th row
Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari)
Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Renault)
Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso-Honda)
Lance Stroll (CAN/Racing Point-Mercedes)
Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Renault)9th row
Alexander Albon (THA/Toro Rosso-Honda)
George Russell (GBR/Williams-Mercedes)
Robert Kubica (POL/Williams-Mercedes)
Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari)