Mercedes Grand Prix man Nico Rosberg extracted the maximum from his car today to qualify well up the order for Sunday's F1 2010 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Mercedes were hopelessly off the pace at Valencia two weeks ago and neither, Rosberg or team-mate, Michael Schumacher, made it through Q2 and into the top-ten shoot-out for pole.
This time out though, both easily made the cut and in the end Rosberg led the charge for the Brackley-based outfit, his best lap, a 1 minute 30.625 seconds, which was only 0.069 seconds off Lewis Hamilton in fourth.
"I'm really pleased with fifth place today and it shows good progress after being so far back in Valencia at the last race," said Rosberg. "This is a positive step and important for us to know that we really understood what the problems were and how efficiently we have been able to turn the situation around.
"Everyone at the factory has worked really hard and this gives us a great chance for the race tomorrow at one of our home circuits. My lap was good today and it's nice to be fighting back up there towards the front again. I'm looking forward to the race and if I get a good start, then we have every reason to expect a strong result."
Schumacher meanwhile had to settle for tenth in the sister car after a mistake on his hot lap in Q3. He was not a happy boy.
"Clearly I am disappointed after today's qualifying as I couldn't get my lap together in Q3," Schumacher stated. "After the second session which was pretty good, I wasn't able to maximise my performance and I am obviously unhappy about my grid position.
"I made a small mistake on my first quick lap so I slowed down to give the tyres the possibility to work again for the second fast lap. But there wasn't much more to come and so I pushed harder and therefore made some mistakes. Now I will have to work hard for the race tomorrow which will be difficult from where I am starting as overtaking here is not really possible. I have to do a good start and see how far I can get. I will certainly try to make the most out of it."
Mercedes GP team principal, Ross Brawn added: "Nico did a very good job today and his fifth place puts us in a decent position for the race. Michael looked quick after Q2 and we were expecting an equally strong Q3 however he made a mistake on his lap and unfortunately that was it. But we saw today what Michael is capable of and that's encouraging for the future.
"This is an important weekend for the team as we focus on consolidating our position and today probably finds us in our natural position in the order right now. We have a fantastic team and I am pleased that they have had some modest reward today from the commitment and hours of hard work that went into our upgrades. Of course the race is what counts so we will wait and see what happens tomorrow."