There were surprises around every corner of qualifying for the Belgium Grand Prix on Saturday.
First was the speed of McLaren driver Jenson Button who at long last ended his pole duck. It was remarkably the Brits' first ever pole position for McLaren and since the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix. The 2009 World Champion hasn't led the field for 60 races and claimed the result was like winning a Grand Prix for him.
Button was fastest on a grid which has taken an even stranger shape than before the break. Few would have predicted Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi in second place (his highest ever start) and Pastor Maldonado in third on Sunday. However, the Venezuelan was later demoted three grid positions to sixth for holding up Force India's Nico Hulkenberg on a turn.
Lotus' Kimmi Raikkonen moved up to third to replace Maldonado.
Button clocked a best lap time at the historic Spa Francorchamps circuit of 1 min 47.573 sec, edging out Kobayashi by two tenths of a second.
Reigning Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel did not even qualify for Q3 and will have to get his season back on track from 11th position. Current leader Fernando Alonso starts in fifth with Lewis Hamilton in a frustrating seventh position alongside Mark Webber.
Sauber completed a very successful day with Sergio Perez starting in fourth position.
Romain Grosjean and Paul Di Resta completed the top 10 places.
With a grid like this, it is anyone's guess who can claim the title in Belgium, a track which provides plenty of opportunities for overtaking.
Can the strangest season for many years get even stranger?
Grid for Belgium Grand Prix:
Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes)
Kamui Kobayashi (JPN/Sauber-Ferrari)
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Lotus-Renault)
Sergio Perez (MEX/Sauber-Ferrari)
Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari)
Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Williams-Renault)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes)
Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus-Renault)
Paul di Resta (GBR/Force India-Mercedes)
Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull-Renault)
Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Force India-Mercedes)
Mark Webber (AUS/Red Bull-Renault)
Michael Schumacher (GER/Mercedes-AMG)
Felipe Massa (BRA/Ferrari)
Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso-Ferrari)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Toro Rosso-Ferrari)
Bruno Senna (BRA/Williams-Renault)
Heikki Kovalainen (FIN/Caterham-Renault)
Vitaly Petrov (RUS/Caterham-Renault)
Timo Glock (GER/Marussia-Cosworth)
Pedro de la Rosa (ESP/HRT-Cosworth)
Charles Pic (FRA/Marussia-Cosworth)
Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes-AMG)
Narain Karthikeyan (IND/HRT-Cosworth)
Source: Al Jazeera