Australian Mark Webber survived tropical storms and a flooded circuit to grab pole position for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix in wildly dramatic circumstances.
After three of the field's four world champions had been eliminated in the opening mini-session and condemned to start among the tailenders at the back of the grid, Webber and his Red Bull team showed them all how it should be done.
The 33-year-old timed his best lap of one minute and 49.327 seconds to perfection to grab the second pole position of his career ahead of German Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes.
Webber's Red Bull team-mate, Germany's Sebastian Vettelm was third ahead of two more Germans, Adrian Sutil of Force India and rooke Nico Hulkenberg of Williams.
Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, in the second Williams, was seventh ahead of his old Ferrari team-mate and comeback kid Michael Schumacher in the second Mercedes.
Japanese Kamui Kobayashi was ninth for Sauber and Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi 10th in the second Force India car. The session was hit by a torrential downpour shortly before it began and this caused widespread chaos -- most notably for the Ferrari and McLaren teams who blundered their strategy and kept their drivers in their garages when other teams went out.
This resulted in three of Formula One's four world champions contesting the 2010 title race being sent skidding off the track. Two-times champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso, his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa of Brazil, 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton of McLaren and his team-mate defending champion Jenson Button were all left at the back of the field.
Sutil 4th, Liuzzi 10th
Adrian Sutil proved his might in wet conditions while teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi made his maiden Q3 appearance of the season as Force India secured an impressive fourth and 10th position start on the grid.
Karun Chandhok, the lone Indian driver in the fray, however, found it difficult to handle his Hispania car in the slippery conditions and could only manage the 22nd position with 1m 56.299s on the clock ahead of teammate Bruno Senna (1m 57.269s) in the grid.