Nico Rosberg secured a crucial pole position ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Rosberg, who topped the third practice session earlier on Saturday, trails Hamilton by 17 points in the race for the Formula One title, but, with double points on offer in Sunday's mouth-watering showdown, he can triumph if he wins and the Briton places lower than second.
And the German grabbed a crucial psychological advantage at Yas Marina Circuit with a superb fastest lap of one minute and 40.480 seconds in qualifying on Saturday.
Hamilton, who was quickest in the first two sessions of qualifying, was left to rue a mistake when he locked up and ran wide on his first flying lap.
Rosberg then shaved even more time off his original benchmark on his final flying lap and Hamilton was unable to go quicker, leaving him 0.386secs behind his rival.
Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who were both quicker than Rosberg in Q2, continued to show good pace and were third and fourth respectively.
Daniel Ricciardo will start ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel on the third row of the grid, while Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso and McLaren's Jenson Button were seventh and eighth.
Rounding off the top 10 were the Ferrari pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.