Rain has set the agenda at the British Grand Prix.
So much fell on Friday that organisers took the drastic step of telling thousands of fans not to turn up to qualifying. Half the circuit's car parks were flooded and Friday's practice session saw very little racing.
However, the wet and wild conditions could not get in the way of World Championship leader Fernando Alonso from securing pole. Remarkably his first for almost two years.
The British Grand Prix was the only race Alonso won last season and he is in the perfect position to repeat the feat.
The Spaniard will be joined on the first line of the grid by Red Bull's Mark Webber.
"I'm happy to be on pole after nearly two years, but in these conditions the qualifying is probably the least important of the year but obviously for visibility it is always better to be on pole"
It will be Alonso's first start on pole since the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix and the 21st of his career in Formula One.
The double champion said he was delighted to have put an end to Ferrari's run without poles but played down the significance of his grid position, suggesting the weather would have the biggest role to play.
He said: "I'm happy to be on pole after nearly two years, but in these conditions the qualifying is probably the least important of the year but obviously for visibility it is always better to be on pole."
"It was tricky conditions for everyone. You have to be calm in some difficult moments - in Q3 we had the difficult choice between inter and full wet (tyres), but when we saw everyone on the inter, we relax a little and put a lap together."
The double world champion is the only driver to have won more than once this year with victories in Malaysia and in the European Grand Prix at Valencia and in a qualifying session badly disrupted by wet conditions he posted the best time of 1 minute 51.746 seconds.
That was marginally better than Webber who is in second place behind Alonso in the drivers standings, 20 points adrift.
Michael Schumacher took third place in his Mercedes with fellow German and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel beside him on the second row.
Both McLaren drivers struggled with Lewis Hamilton eighth and Jenson Button failing to make it out of the first qualifying session.