Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix during a dramatic final shootout session at the Red Bull Ring, as both Mercedes drivers went off track.
Hamilton claimed top spot with a time of 1:08.455 to beat team-mate Nico Rosberg, who had been comfortably quickest in Q1 and Q2.
Rosberg claimed provisional pole with a lap four-tenths clear of Hamilton, but while the German improved next time around, the reigning champion went even quicker to move two-tenths up on his team-mate.
Both drivers emerged for their final flying laps, with Rosberg ahead of Hamilton on track.
Hamilton’s hopes of improving were scuppered when he spun under braking for Turn 1, as Rosberg set a personal best in the first sector before going quickest of all in the second.
Rosberg went narrowly wide at Turn 8 before sliding at Turn 9 and going straight on, parking his Mercedes in the gravel.
That left Hamilton on pole position, ahead of Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, while Kimi Räikkönen endured a nightmare session.
The rapidly drying nature of the circuit in Q1 caught out the Finn and as rivals improved, he was shuffled down the order and ended the session in 18th position, though will move up to 14th after penalties for both Red Bull and McLaren drivers.
Felipe Massa was unable to repeat his heroics of 2014 and will start from fourth position, ahead of Le Mans winner Nico Hülkenberg and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.
Max Verstappen was seventh fastest for Toro Rosso, while Daniil Kvyat qualified in eighth spot but will drop to 18th following an engine penalty.
Felipe Nasr was ninth, while Romain Grosjean made it through to Q3 but was unable to register a lap due to a brake problem.
Pastor Maldonado was 11th fastest, ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Carlos Sainz Jr., who showed strong pace early in Q1 but then faded.
Daniel Ricciardo went off at Turn 3 and managed only 14th position, ahead of Fernando Alonso. Both drivers will slip further back due to their respective engine penalties.
Sergio Pérez narrowly missed out on a berth in Q2 and was 16th quickest as Q1 began on Intermediate tyres before conditions improved.
Jenson Button was 17th fastest but will drop to the back and serve a 10 second stop and go penalty following changes to his car, promoting the lowly Räikkönen.
Roberto Merhi beat Will Stevens for honours between the Manor Marussia drivers as the Briton suffered a wild excursion into the gravel at Turn 7.