Sebastian Vettel said he was relieved to deny Fernando Alonso pole at Hockenheim – and amazed by the tiny 0.002-second margin.
Alonso had been quickest in Q1, Q2 and the first runs in Q3, before Vettel managed to slip ahead at the end and claim pole for his home grand prix.
"It will be interesting to work out how much [distance] two thousandths of a second is," Vettel mused. "All session Fernando was very strong and Ferrari are generally very competitive.
"It was very exciting and in Q2 I knew we had one lap to get it right. It was close and you push a little bit more and you lose the edge of the tires and then feel you are losing time. My last run wasn't 100 percent perfect, I had a bit here or there where I went above the limit but in the end it was enough by nearly nothing to stay ahead and get on pole.
"I am extremely happy, first time on pole at home but the main challenge will come tomorrow – we have a very strong car here and a tough fight against the red cars."
Vettel has now taken pole for three straight races, but at Silverstone a fortnight ago he was unable to hold the lead off the line. However he is more confident about his prospects of getting into the first corner ahead in Germany.
"I think unlike Silverstone the clear side [of the track] is worth a bit," he said. "Fernando and myself in the last race were surprised by the bad grip on the clean side. Here it should be good for us.
"We have a very strong car – it is very close to the Ferraris, We start from the best position after a good job today but tomorrow is the target. Today there is no real reward other than going to sleep with a good feeling."