NUERBURGRING (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton secured his second pole position in succession on Saturday when, just a week after his dazzling feat at Silverstone, he did the same again in the final seconds of qualifying for Sunday's German Grand Prix.
The 28-year-old Briton, world champion in 2008, clocked a fastest lap of 1min 29.398sec in his Mercedes to out-pace nearest rival Sebastian Vettel by one-tenth of a second in a dramatic finale to a tense hour's action.
It had looked as if the Red Bull driver's lap was fast enough for pole as he sought to set himself up for a first win on home soil in the 60-lap race until Hamilton had the last word.
It was Hamilton's third pole position of the season and the 29th of his career, pulling him level with defending F1 champion and current series leader Vettel in the record books.
Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Australian Mark Webber was third fastest ahead of Finn Kimi Raikkonen and his Lotus team-mate Frenchman Romain Grosjean.
In an unexpectedly brilliant display of pace, F1's second Australian Daniel Ricciardo qualified sixth for Toro Rosso ahead of the two Ferraris of Brazilian Felipe Massa and Spaniard Fernando Alonso - the Italian team having changed strategy to run on medium-hard tyres in the third qualifying session.
Briton Jenson Button was ninth for McLaren and German Nico Hulkenberg 10th for Sauber on an afternoon when Hamilton's team-mate, German Nico Rosberg, missed the cut and qualified 11th.
Both Button and Hulkenberg chose not to clock a time in the session as they, like the Ferrari men, opted to go for race strategy instead of grid positions.