Mark Webber beat his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the British Grand Prix, as the champion team continued to lead the way in qualifying despite its fears that it would be disadvantaged by the exhaust rules controversy.
Last year's Silverstone winner Webber put in a 1m30.399s early in Q3 to pip Vettel by 0.032s - and when a light shower arrived in the final moments, it ensured that there would be no changes to the leading order.
Ferrari emerged as Red Bull's biggest threat, while McLaren struggled. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa share row two, Alonso 0.2s off pole, but Jenson Button was 1.5s away from Webber's time as he took fifth - and Lewis Hamilton was way back in 10th.
Hamilton's lowly position was one of several surprises. A heavy rain shower near the end of Q1 left the track drying steadily and getting faster and faster through Q2, leading to a number of minor upsets further down the order.
Paul di Resta will start his first home grand prix in a spectacular sixth place for Force India, with rookie Pastor Maldonado shining for Williams and taking seventh, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber).
Their progress came at the expense of the likes of Michael Schumacher - who was four places lower than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in 13th - and the two Renaults, which were back in 14th and 16th, Vitaly Petrov 1.1s quicker than Nick Heidfeld.
Toro Rosso was most disadvantaged when the rain hit in Q1, with Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi's first runs only good enough for 18th and 19th. That meant Lotus got a car into Q2 with Heikki Kovalainen, who took 17th.
Rubens Barrichello splits the Renaults on the grid in the other Williams, while Adrian Sutil (Force India) and Sergio Perez (Sauber) were the men who only narrowly missed out on Q3 so will share row six.
At the back, Timo Glock managed to get his Virgin ahead of Jarno Trulli's Lotus in 20th, and Daniel Ricciardo will start 24th for his first grand prix, having been 0.6s slower than Hispania team-mate Tonio Liuzzi.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m30.399s
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m30.431s + 0.032
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m30.516s + 0.117
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m31.124s + 0.725
5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.989s + 1.590
6. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m31.929s + 1.530
7. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m31.933s + 1.534
8. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.128s + 1.729
9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.209s + 1.810
10. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.376s + 1.977
Q2 cut-off time: 1m32.588s Gap **
11. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m32.617s + 0.977
12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.624s + 0.984
13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m32.656s + 1.016
14. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m32.734s + 1.094
15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m33.119s + 1.479
16. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m33.805s + 2.165
17. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m34.821s + 3.181
Q1 cut-off time: 1m35.132s Gap *
18. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.245s + 2.575
19. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.749s + 3.079
20. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m36.203s + 3.533
21. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m36.456s + 3.786
22. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m37.154s + 4.484
23. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m37.484s + 4.814
24. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m38.059s + 5.389
107% time: 1m39.156s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2