Hockenheim: Nico Hulkenberg delivered a superb qualifying session in his home race as he secured a season-best fifth position on the grid while Paul di Resta was ninth as Sahara Force India got itself in a good position to score some points from the German Grand Prix, here on Sunday.
Hulkenberg managed the fastest lap of 1m 43.501s and was sandwiched between fourth-placed Michael Schumacher (1:42.459) and Williams' Pastor Maldonado (1m 43.950s).
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (1m 40.621) recorded a second straight pole position, followed by the two Red Bulls. While double defending champion Sebastian Vettel (1:41.026) was second, Mark Webber was third (1:41.496).
Sahara Force India put up a promising show after a pointless race at Silverstone.
Paul di Resta's fastest lap of 1:44.889 got him the fifth row on the grid along with Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen (1:45.811).
Force India will now look to grab the seventh position from Williams on the constructors' championship.
Force India have 44 points, three less than Williams.
India's Narain Karthikeyan (1:20.230) brought up the rear along with Hispania teammate Pedro de la Rosa (1:19.912).
Karthikeyan will start last from the grid.
Hulkenberg, who can move to fourth from fifth if Webber is imposed a grid penalty, said now that they are in a good position on the grid, he would like to make the most of the chance.
"When you start high up you naturally want to finish high up as well and I hope we can have strong race. I feel very excited because it's always special to qualify well, especially at your home race," he said.
Hulkenberg was though wary of the racers behind him, saying, "There are a lot of quick cars behind us so we will need to think carefully to make the strategy work."
"It was a session that had a bit of everything because we ran on slicks, intermediates and wets. I think the most tricky conditions came during Q3 when I even aquaplaned off the track during my out lap and went into the gravel. Fortunately I was lucky and able to continue, but there was very little grip on the track," he added.
Paul Di Resta said he could have finished better but for traffic in his crucial lap.
"Towards the end of Q3 I was getting ready for my final run but the traffic didn?t really work out for me and I struggled to get the lap when it really counted. Still, we made it into the top ten so I'm happy, but you always want to be a bit further up the grid," he said.
Team Principal Vijay Mallya was delighted with the outcome of today's session.
"I think we made the most of the challenging conditions today and we can be pleased to have both our cars inside the top ten. We've demonstrated once again that we have a very consistent car no matter what the conditions and with dry weather forecast for tomorrow I think the scene is set for an exciting race," he said.