Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen roared to pole position during a dramatic qualifying session for the European Grand Prix.
Raikkonen is looking for his third straight Grand Prix win
The final spell of qualifying was delayed for just over half an hour when British world championship leader Lewis Hamilton crashed into the barriers.
When qualifying resumed, Raikkonen set a flying lap of one minute 31.450 seconds, ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa.
If Hamilton is passed fit he will start in 10th place on the Nurburgring grid.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis said it was "too early" to know if the British rookie was fit enough to take part in the race.
If Hamilton does need to use McLaren's spare car he must start the race from the pit lane.
Raikkonen had been fastest during the final two practice sessions at the Nurburgring and he comfortably converted that pace into pole.
The Finn overhauled Massa in the final minute of qualifying, but Alonso could not close down Raikkonen and settled for splitting the Ferraris.
"It was difficult to wait but you just have to be patient," said Raikkonen, who claimed his first pole since the season-opener in Australia.
"The lap was good for me and it was easy to take pole. The race will be hard but I'm hoping to do well."
It wasn't easy to then sit in the car because you lose momentum and concentration
Raikkonen is chasing a hat-trick of victories for the first time in his career after wins in France and Britain.
Alonso said: "Lewis is OK and that is the best news from qualifying.
"It wasn't easy to then sit in the car because you lose momentum and concentration, and with five minutes remaining you only have one chance."
New father Nick Heidfeld starts in fourth for BMW Sauber ahead of team-mate Robert Kubica, with Mark Webber sixth in his Red Bull and Renault's Heikki Kovalainen seventh.
They were followed by the Toyotas of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher.
Qualifying had already started badly from a British perspective prior to Hamilton's crash, when both Jenson Button and David Coulthard failed to get beyond the first session.
Button must start in 17th on the grid while Coulthard, who complained of getting stuck behind team-mate Webber, is a lowly 20th.
Markus Winkelhock's baptism of fire continued and the debutant, who has replaced Christijan Albers at Spyker, will begin his debut race as the backmarker.
Results from qualifying, European Grand Prix:
1. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari one min 31.450 secs
2. Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.741
3. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1:31.778
4. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:31.840
5. Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 1:32.123
6. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:32.476
7. Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Renault 1:32.478
8. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:32.501
9. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1:32.570
10. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.833
11. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Toyota 1:31.978
12. Alexander Wurz (Aut) Williams-Toyota 1:31.996
13. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 1:32.010
14. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda 1:32.221
15. Anthony Davidson (GB) Super Aguri-Honda 1:32.451
16. Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri-Honda 1:32.838
17. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1:32.983
18. Scott Speed (US) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:33.038
19. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:33.148
20. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Renault 1:33.151
21. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Spyker-Ferrari 1:34.500
22. Markus Winkelhock (Germany) Spyker-Ferrari 1:35.940
Follow live coverage of the race which starts at 1300 BST this Sunday on the BBC Sport website and Radio Five Live.