Mark Webber produced a stunning lap in Q3 to secure pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
as Red Bull
once again locked out the front two places on the grid.
The Australian took his second pole in the last three races as the championship winners maintained a run of form that has seen one of its cars start from top spot on the grid in every race since the summer shutdown.
It had looked like newly-crowned four-time champion Sebastian Vettel
was on course for what would have been an eighth pole of the year when he laid down a strong marker on his first run in Q3, going comfortably quicker than his nearest rival to snare top spot on the grid.
However, on his second run, Webber was able to dip under the 1min 40secs mark with Vettel unable to then beat the Australian despite improving his time on his own final run.
Pole for Webber means he now equals Jack Brabham's Australian record of 13 career F1 pole positions.
Nico Rosberg was 'best of the rest' for Mercedes in third and shares the second row of the grid with team-mate Lewis Hamilton
in fourth despite his session ending slightly early when he suffered a spin at turn 14 that resulted in yellow flags being shown for the final seconds.
Kimi Raikkonen was fifth quickest ahead of an impressive Nico Hulkenberg, with Romain Grosjean
down in seventh having been one of those drivers forced to ease off following Hamilton's spin.
Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten, with the latter in particular having impressed with the lap that allowed him to make it through from Q2.
Outside the top ten, Fernando Alonso
could only settle for eleventh as he failed to make it into Q3 for the first time since the 2012 European Grand Prix.
A mistake on his first lap of his final run proved to be costly for the Spaniard as he was then unable to find enough time on his last lap of the session and fell a tenth of a second short of knocking Massa out instead. It marked the fifth time in six races that the double champion will now start behind his team-mate.