Valtteri Bottas won a close duel with his ART team-mate Jules Bianchi to take pole position for the first F3 Euro Series race of the weekend at Lausitz on Saturday morning.
The F3 rookie was on top for most of the session, which was held in damp conditions. Title favorite Bianchi was one of the few drivers to ever get ahead of Bottas as track conditions improved, but every time he did the Finn was able to respond to take back the position.
Both drivers took to the track in the last few minutes to have one final push, but a late rain shower prevented anyone from improving at the end.
Christian Vietoris had been set to beat both of the ART cars shortly before the rain came, but his lap was ruined by yellow flags in the third sector due to Basil Shabaan's car being stuck in the gravel after a spin.
By the time the German started his next hot lap, the weather had worsened, and he went off at Turn 3, leaving him 13th on the grid.
Atte Mustonen was another driver to trouble Bottas when the track was at its best, but he had to settle for third, alongside Hockenheim race two winner Jean-Karl Vernay.
The third row will be occupied by Cesar Ramos and Henkie Waldschmidt, while ex-British F3 racers Brendon Hartley and Sam Bird will share row four.
Several frontrunners from the season-opening weekend had disappointing sessions. Championship leader Stefano Coletti could only manage 14th, just behind Roberto Merhi, who he led home in the first race of the year.
Things were even worse for Mika Maki, who will start last. The Finn lost control under braking for the first corner and ploughed into the inside wall, ending his session early.
Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1. Valtteri Bottas ART D/M 1:31.308
2. Jules Bianchi ART D/M 1:31.725 +0.417
3. Atte Mustonen Motopark D/M 1:32.084 +0.776
4. Jean-Karl Vernay Signature D/V 1:32.188 +0.880
5. Cesar Ramos Manor D/M 1:32.336 +1.028
6. Henkie Waldschmidt SG D/M 1:32.355 +1.047
7. Brendon Hartley Carlin D/V 1:32.363 +1.055
8. Sam Bird Mucke D/M 1:32.544 +1.236
9. Tiago Geronimi Signature D/V 1:32.565 +1.257
10. Esteban Gutierrez ART D/M 1:32.584 +1.276
11. Alexander Sims Mucke D/M 1:32.768 +1.460
12. Adrien Tambay ART D/M 1:32.925 +1.617
13. Christian Vietoris Mucke D/M 1:32.942 +1.634
14. Roberto Merhi Manor D/M 1:33.111 +1.803
15. Johnny Cecotto Jr HBR D/M 1:33.394 +2.086
16. Stefano Coletti Prema D/M 1:33.487 +2.179
17. Marco Wittmann Mucke D/M 1:33.549 +2.241
18. Kevin Mirocha HBR D/M 1:33.662 +2.354
19. Andrea Caldarelli SG D/M 1:33.909 +2.601
20. Matteo Chinosi Prema D/M 1:33.944 +2.636
21. Pedro Henrique Manor D/M 1:34.215 +2.907
22. Carlo van Dam Kolles D/V 1:34.303 +2.995
23. Alexandre Marsoin SG D/M 1:34.440 +3.132
24. Christopher Zanella Motopark D/M 1:34.454 +3.146
25. Jake Rosenzweig Carlin D/V 1:34.910 +3.602
26. Johan Jokinen Kolles D/V 1:35.237 +3.929
27. Basil Shaaban Prema D/M 1:36.634 +5.326
28. Mika Maki Signature D/V no time