Ferrari's Fernando Alonso arrives at the track looking like he means business - Ferrari are expected to be Red Bull's closest challengers in Germany
Lewis Hamilton needs to make up for lost time after a heavy crash in Friday practice cost him more than an hour and a half's running
Can Felipe Massa challenge team-mate Alonso on a track where he should not suffer the tyre-warming problems that have been afflicting him this season
Mark Webber arrives in Hockenheim fresh from winning the German Grand Prix and will be determined to beat Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel on the German's home track
But it is Webber's team-mate Vettel who sets the pace in final practice, just shading the Ferrari of Alonso, who is living up to his billing
At the start of qualifying, the Red Bulls and Alonso's Ferrari come out on to the track in line astern - is this what the order will be at the end of the session?
But the first session is held up when Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi spins coming on to the start/finish straight and crashes into the pit wall, bringing out the red flags to stop the session while the track is cleared
The stand-out performance among the new teams is from Hispania's Bruno Senna, who laps within 0.25secs of Virgin's Timo Glock to qualify 21st on the grid despite no significant improvements to his car
Mercedes have high hopes of the third row of the grid at their home race but find themselves struggling in qualifying. Nico Rosberg just makes it into the top 10 shoot-out
But it is not a happy homecoming for Michael Schumacher, so long the hero at Hockenheim. The seven-time champion is knocked out in the second qualifying session by Williams's Nico Hulkenberg and will start only 11th
The final session is all about Ferrari v Red Bull - and Alonso throws down the gauntlet in the first runs with the first sub-one minute 14 second lap
Vettel goes out before Alonso on the final runs and he dips 0.2 seconds under the Spaniard's first run time? Can Alonso respond?
He can - he goes faster but it is not quite fast enough and Vettel ends up beating Alonso to pole by the tiny margin of 0.002secs
Vettel laps up the attention in celebrating his first pole position at his home grand prix
The time difference between the two men equates to 15cm on the track - but Alonso says he is pleased finally to be on the front row rather than disappointed to miss out o pole
It is a good day for Jenson Button, who out-qualifies McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton for the first time since the Chinese Grand Prix back in April - but he says he is more concerned by the gap to the top two teams