Valtteri Bottas for once left Lewis Hamilton in the shade in qualifying as the Finn claimed the 14th pole position of his Formula 1 career.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen was on course to claim a sensational pole as he was quickest after the first run in the top-10 shoot-out for the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring.
But it was Bottas who came through when it mattered most to finish just over a quarter-of-a-second ahead of his team-mate at Mercedes, with the team maintaining its 100 per cent pole record in qualifying this season.
Hamilton's time was 0.135secs slower than his best overall in Q2, similarly with Verstappen who was a tenth-of-a-second quicker in the second part of qualifying.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc snatched a stunning fourth in the dying moments to edge Red Bull's Alex Albon off the second row and into fifth on the grid for the start of the race.
Nico Hülkenberg, drafted in at the 11th hour by Racing Point after Lance Stroll was forced to miss final practice due to illness, appreciably struggled and will start last.
It was always going to be a tall order for the German to get into Q2, despite his two previous outings with the team across the British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix weekends at Silverstone in July.
While possessing knowledge of the track and of the car, the combination of the two were alien to him, leading to a number of minor lock-ups on his quick laps and the German finishing just under half-a-second shy of reaching Q2.
Hülkenberg was left to look on from the sidelines as Q2 and Q3 unfolded, with his team-mate Sergio Perez highlighting what was possible with the car as he will start ninth behind Renault duo Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon in sixth and seventh.
Perez will have the McLaren pair around him as Lando Norris starts eighth and Carlos Sainz 10th.
On home soil, Sebastian Vettel will start 11th after failing to make it out of Q2 for the seventh successive race, while he was out-qualified by Leclerc for the eighth consecutive occasion.
Vettel had momentarily scraped his way into the top 10, only to be knocked out moments later by Leclerc who set the fifth quickest time in Q1. with the four-time F1 champion missing out on Q3 by four-tenths of a second.
Vettel will have AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly alongside him on row six, with the latter's team-mate Daniil Kvyat starting 13th.
Antonio Giovinazzi, facing an uncertain future with suggestions Mick Schumacher will replace him at Alfa Romeo next season, produced his best qualifying performance of the season, and with the young German looking on from the garage.
Reaching Q2 for the first time this year in the 11th race of the campaign, Giovinazzi will start 14th ahead of Haas duo Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.
Williams pair George Russell and Nicholas Latifi occupy the ninth row in 17th and 18th respectively.
On what will be the occasion of his record-setting 323rd F1 start, Kimi Raikkonen will be on the back row in 19th, a place ahead of Hülkenberg.
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