Lewis Hamilton produced an absolute banzai Q3 lap to claim pole position for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay.
Though Ferrari went into the session as favourites, it was actually Red Bull that led both Q1 and Q2, but when it mattered most the world champion set a stunning 1m36.015s on his first flying lap which would go unbeaten.
Max Verstappen did all he could but would finish a third of a second down in second with Sebastian Vettel once again left frustrated with his team as he could only manage third, six tenths off the pace.
Valtteri Bottas followed in fourth, just ahead of his countryman Kimi Raikkonen with Daniel Ricciardo completing the top six in his Red Bull.
A very tight midfield battle would see Sergio Perez claim seventh in an upgraded Force India that has been very competitive all weekend.
Romain Grosjean was able to split the two pink panthers in eighth, just 0.045s ahead of Esteban Ocon as Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10 for Renault.
At the start of Q2, Ferrari attempted to use the Ultrasoft tyre to make it into the top 10, but quickly Raikkonen struggled for grip while Vettel was only 10th.
Hamilton set an impressive time only to be matched by the two Red Bulls with Verstappen just ahead and Ricciardo just behind.
Eventually, both Scuderia drivers went back out on the Hypersoft with Kimi going P1 as his German teammate suffered traffic at the end of his lap but was still P6.
In the scramble to make the top 10 shoot-out, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz would just miss out in P11 and P12 as Ocon and Grosjean produced the goods on their final efforts.
The two Saubers followed as Charles Leclerc survived a brush against the wall in Turn 21 but was only 13th, one place ahead of partner Marcus Ericsson as Pierre Gasly completed the top 15.
In Q1, Hamilton was feeling the pressure as Mercedes opted to use the Ultrasoft tyre rather the Hyper but his best time would be just enough as he made it through in 14th.
Instead, it would be Kevin Magnussen who misjudged the cut-off point as the Haas driver went out in 16th ahead of Brendon Hartley in the Toro Rosso.
Stoffel Vandoorne is still yet to out-qualify teammate Alonso this season as the Belgian sat 18th with the two Williams' of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll completing the grid.
The full grid for Sunday's race can be seen below:
Grosjean vows not to repeat early 2018 m
Verstappen still lacks one major asset t
Brawn has plan to stop top teams gaining
Alonso a 'more complete driver' thanks t
Red Bull insist Verstappen will not be f
Leclerc sets reasonable target for first
Monza plans big renovations for centenar
Ferrari much more of a unit compared to
Bottas: Worrying about Mercedes exit rum
Russell sets midfield goal for Williams
Brawn reveals agreement to help new engi
Ferrari confirm February launch date for
Perez talks up Stroll potential, plays d
18 Thoughts from F1 2018: Are Williams o
Ricciardo: Taking Renault 'to the next l
Norris wants to 'beat Sainz at every rac
Vettel has one problem with Kubica's F1
Pirelli has asked teams to simulate mand
McLaren 'very happy' with Renault, expec
Schumacher chooses Ferrari Academy over
Stroll matched Ocon in the simulator and
Wolff identifies race where he 'felt the
Sainz: McLaren aiming to lead the midfie
Marchionne death was a 'big loss' to Fer
Stewart hails Verstappen and arrival of
Kubica suggests Williams ignored initial
Bottas to contest Arctic Lapland Rally i
Vettel unsure if he'll enjoy same Ferrar
Alonso was 'never on the right team at t
Verstappen: F1 success 'a lot easier' fo
Mercedes had a pace advantage over Ferra
Ecclestone reveals Silverstone bid and f
Bianchi death & personal reasons re-shap
Hamilton had to be reigned in during sup
Norris believes McLaren more focused on
Grosjean: I have same desire to win as A
Verstappen only wanted to make Renault '
Kubica talks up F1 return: 'I know what
Wolff: Leclerc save at Spa vindicates Ha
Mexico GP future plunged into doubt by n
Wolff again raises prospect of future Sc
Sainz feels no pressure replacing Alonso
Hamilton just a 'chink in a chain' at Me
Raikkonen surprised by similarities betw
Renault reveal huge power deficit to eng
Verstappen still peeved by 'unfair' Monz
Hakkinen draws comparison to his early c
Mercedes' 2019 engine not yet hitting pr
Hulkenberg not so interested in comparis
Ecclestone warns against rise of street
Hartley hints Toro Rosso exit was politi
FIA concludes Halo did prevent Alonso's
Ricciardo: Process of making 2019 decisi
Brown: McLaren's 2018 a result of years
Giovinazzi expecting 'tough' start along
Pirelli: Tyres not only to blame for con
Vettel gets Di Montezemolo support: Schu
Ericsson tips - and hopes - Leclerc to '
Magnussen has 'almost forgot' what wins
Red Bull worried of help Ricciardo can g
Ericsson claims F1 is 'artificial' in co
Gasly will give Verstappen the 'hardest
Renault: 2019 potential depends on Red B
Russell wants to work with Kubica to pus
Racing Point will not be Force India's n
Hamilton expecting another title fight w
Ferrari admit possible benefits but want
Verstappen & Leclerc will be F1's new Ha
Schumacher's 2006 retirement left Ferrar
Sirotkin: 2019 Williams seat 'looked qui
Liberty 'trying' for Silverstone deal bu
Vettel would have been F1 champion with
Verstappen hints at 'Plan B' if Red Bull
Ricciardo denies money the cause for fai
Alonso leaving F1 akin to 'Real Madrid w
Gasly & Verstappen a 'good partnership'
Bottas rejects idea of seeking Rosberg a
Leclerc can be the 'incentive' Vettel ne
Todt suggests Verstappen becomes a stewa
Hamilton unscathed from minor crash duri
Perez admits Ocon relationship 'was neve
Red Bull's 2018 season could have been "
Alonso bemoans loss of engine noise in F
Ocon predicts busier 2019 as Mercedes re
Albon: Red Bull program was my only real
Bottas to approach 2019 'like I have not
Force India's new name & 2019 driver num
Force India officially confirm Lance Str
Mick Schumacher amazed by performance of
Norris keen to have 'valuable' Alonso ad
Schumacher 'as we all remember him' and
Ferrari claim the 'real Vettel' was back
Hamilton 'more relieved' after Mercedes
Verstappen admits bold Ocon moves in Abu
Force India rue costly races after faili
Bottas the 'only slight flaw' for Merced
Ricciardo 'confused' by Red Bull pace is
Williams: 'No one in the team' has doubt
Bottas & Vettel sense little difference
Brawn: 'Unacceptable' podium record for