Mark Webber drove a nerveless final lap in qualifying today to take the first pole of his 128 race career.
This was one of the most sensational qualifying sessions in recent memory, with intermittent rain falling throughout the second and third sessions, making tyre choice and timing of runs absolutely critical.
The most extreme part of the session was qualifying 2, where there was a window of about three minutes to be on the slick tyre as the track began to dry out, before it started to rain again. Webber, Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel all got through safely but Jenson Button was made to sweat and had to set his lap as the rain fell again, only just making it through to the pole position shootout. Falling by the wayside at this time due to taking the wrong options were some big names, like Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld.
In contrast, Nelson Piquet and Adrian Sutil rode their luck and booked a place in the top ten shootout. Sutil ended up 7th, Piquet 10th.
Although it was a huge challenge with a lot of downsides to making the wrong decisions, the drivers revelled in the conditions. Lewis Hamilton took his upgraded McLaren to provisional pole position before being pushed back to an eventual 5th place, behind the Red Bulls and Brawns.
With unexpectedly cold conditions here in Germany, the choice of tyres is going to be very tough tomorrow for the race. Most teams are really struggling to get the hard tyre to work, especially the Brawns and quite a few drivers would probably prefer some rain so that they are not obliged to use both types of slick tyre.
Webber must be feeling pretty confident that he can translate his first pole into his first win tomorrow. The Red Bull is the fastest car here without doubt and his team mate Sebastian Vettel is in fourth place with some work to do. It is a great opportunity for Webber who will want his race to be as straight forward as this one was complicated.