Mark Webber has secured pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix but Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will have their work cut out to salvage something from the race after becoming victims of the weather in a qualifying session that was seriously affected by rain.
After a deluge had delayed the final phase of qualifying, Webber took a gamble to switch to intermediate tyres and it paid off as the Australian clocked a time of one minute 49.327 seconds.
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg starts on the front row after securing second place while Sebastian Vettel completed a pleasing day for Red Bull as he lines up third.
It will be even more pleasing for Red Bull that rivals McLaren and Ferrari start from towards the back of the grid after their drivers failed to progress from Q1.
Showers began to fall shortly before the session got under way and both teams decided to delay sending out their drivers in the hope the rain would subside.
It proved a costly error of judgement, however, as Button spun into the gravel to bring a premature end to his session and he lines up 17th on the grid while Hamilton struggled to find the pace he needed and will start from 20th.
"We made the wrong call and we paid for it," said Button afterwards.
"It was very frustrating. The negatives are I am along way back on the grid compared to the Red Bulls and the Mercedes but I am in front of three of my rivals.
"It just proves we made the wrong call. You make the right ones sometimes but you also make wrong ones. We can make a good race of it."Reuse content