Williams' Maldonado returned to the top three for the first time since qualifying second fastest in the Spanish GP in Barcelona (which eventually became pole). The Venezuelan's form has been erratic this year but he managed to pip the Lotus of Romain Grosjean by just 0.065 seconds on the second row of the starting grid.
Mark Webber's elimination in Q1 was the biggest surprise of qualifying as the Australian struggled to post competitive times and could only managed 19th place.
Q2 also threw up a few surprises with the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa along with Michael Schumacher's Mercedes being eliminated.
The Force Indias of Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg looked good for a top five starting slot through the first two sessions as well before they ended up eighth and 10th fastest.