Lewis Hamilton took his first pole position of the 2009 season, and the 14th of his career, as McLaren dominated the front row for the European Grand Prix at Valencia.
The Briton, who took the pole with his first attempt in Q3, was only ever threatened by his teammate Heikki Kovalainen, who could have taken a second career pole for himself but for a mistake in the final sector of his best lap.
Then again, Hamilton's final attempt wasn't bad, either, but once he knew Kovalainen had failed to beat his time, the world champion aborted his lap, pitted, and began celebrating.
Hamilton had already set an extraordinary mark of 1m39.498s on his first attempt, and the strength of that lap was emphasised when Jenson Button crossed the line 30 seconds later to take second place some 0.5sec slower.
Rubens Barrichello - having set the fastest lap of all in Q2 with a 1m38.076s -- will start third on the grid in the best of the Brawns, having used just one set of tires in Q3.
Sebastian Vettel took a surprising fourth to split the Brawns, having not looked likely to do so for much of the weekend. The German, who suffered a major engine failure in the morning practice session, outpaced his title rival Button.
The world championship leader will start fifth, having struggled for balance through Q1 and Q2. He went wide at a corner on his best lap, and otherwise expected to be fourth.
Kimi Raikkonen took sixth for Ferrari ahead of Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso.
Mark Webber looked uncomfortable with the balance of his Red Bull in ninth, while Robert Kubica broke into the top 10 for BMW.
Adrian Sutil recorded another strong qualifying performance with 12th, but he will have been disappointed not to have put the Force India into Q3. The German's 1m38.846s lap was his fastest of the weekend, however.
He will start behind Nick Heidfeld, who was bumped from Q3 by a late lap by Alonso to start 11th.
Timo Glock was an uninspiring 13th for Toyota, while Romain Grosjean recorded the best rookie performance in 14th for Renault, but less than 0.4sec behind Alonso on his debut which compares well with his predecessor. The hot-footed Sebastian Buemi was 15th.
Giancarlo Fisichella delivered an early disappointment for Force India, having showed promise throughout practice, by being bumped to 16th in the last 20 seconds of Q1.
Behind him were Kazuki Nakajima, whose car failed on him in the first sector of the lap having also looked strong, a mystifyingly slow Jarno Trulli, Jaime Alguersuari and the hapless Luca Badoer.
The Italian, who never came to grips with the Ferrari, ended up nearly three seconds slower than Button's fastest time, and more than two behind teammate Raikkonen.
Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:38.649 1:38.182 1:39.498 2. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:38.816 1:38.230 1:39.532 3. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:39.019 1:38.076 1:39.563 4. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:39.295 1:38.273 1:39.789 5. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:38.531 1:38.601 1:39.821 6. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:38.843 1:38.782 1:40.144 7. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:39.039 1:38.346 1:40.185 8. Alonso Renault (B) 1:39.155 1:38.717 1:40.236 9. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:38.983 1:38.625 1:40.23910. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:38.806 1:38.747 1:40.51211. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:39.032 1:38.82612. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:39.145 1:38.84613. Glock Toyota (B) 1:39.459 1:38.99114. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:39.322 1:39.04015. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:38.912 1:39.51416. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:39.53117. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:39.79518. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:39.80719. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:39.92520. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:41.413All Timing Unofficial