Red Bull and Honda junior Yuki Tsunoda claimed his third pole of the 2020 Formula 2 season at Sochi after overhauling Carlin team-mate Jehan Daruvala with a last-gasp qualifying effort.
Daruvala had led the majority of the session, carrying on the fine pace he showed in practice, but Tsunoda spoiled his party at the last-minute to narrowly take pole position.
When the 30-minute long session began, Prema driver Mick Schumacher was the first to set a competitive lap time - a 1m49.924s - but he was almost immediately displaced from the top of the timesheets by fellow Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman, who went three tenths quicker with a time of 1m49.634s.
Daruvala and Hitech's Nikita Mazepin then set quickest times, before the Indian driver asserted his authority with a 1m49.068s flyer - the fastest lap of the weekend so far.
When the second runs began, Daruvala managed to find even more time, becoming the first driver to break the 1m49s barrier with a time of 1m48.990s.
Tsunoda managed to improve to 1m49.284s to provisionally make it a Carlin 1-2, before gaining a whopping seven tenths to snatch pole position from Daruvala.
Daruvala himself managed to find a lot of time on his final flyer, but ultimately fell just 0.006s short of beating his teammate.
Championship leader Schumacher qualified third with his late effort of 1m48.883s, with Callum Ilott completing the second row for Virtuosi.
Ilott had dropped outside the top 10 after encountering traffic on his first run, but managed to move up to fourth with a late flyer of 1m49.047s.
Practice pacesetter Luca Ghiotto finished as the top Hitech driver in fifth, beating ART's Christian Lundgaard by just 0.032s.
Shwartzman enjoyed an improving qualifying form to finish seventh, ahead of Jack Aitken (Campos) and Virtuosi driver Guanyu Zhou.
Mazepin was unable to trouble the leaders in the second half of qualifying, his early effort of 1m49.474s leaving him 10th in the final order.
Red Bull protege Juri Vips was classified as the top DAMS driver in 11th, four spots clear of HWA debutant Jake Hughes.
F2 Sochi qualifying results
|3||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||0.195s|
|5||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech Grand Prix||0.542s|
|6||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||0.564s|
|7||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Racing||0.596s|
|8||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||0.618s|
|10||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech Grand Prix||0.786s|
|12||Pedro Piquet||Charouz Racing System||0.992s|
|13||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||1.011s|
|14||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix||1.181s|
|15||Jake Hughes||BWT HWA RACELAB||1.274s|
|16||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||1.288s|
|20||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA RACELAB||1.800s|
|21||Giuliano Alesi||MP Motorsport||2.255s|
|22||Guilherme Samaia||Campos Racing||2.687s|