HOCKENHEIM, Germany, July 21, 2012 (AFP) - Fernando Alonso grabbed the 21st pole position of his career on Saturday after driving superbly in conditions that he said were 'right on the limit' for safety.
The championship-chasing Spaniard, who leads this year's title race in his pursuit of a third drivers' world title, took his second successive pole for Ferrari in qualifying for Sunday's German Grand Prix.
But he pointed out that conditions were far from ideal, and indeed dangerous, for all of the drivers involved in tackling the elements as heavy rain swept across the Hockenheimring track.
The weather was at its worst in Q2 and abated slightly in Q3 before drier conditions emerged in the final minutes, and Alonso took pole when he trimmed his earlier fastest lap to a best of 1min 40.261sec.
"I think the conditions were still very on the limit," he said. "Even if it is the same for everybody -- I think sometimes it is good to check the circuit conditions.
"We did Q3 and I think going into T6 (Turn 6) it was not easy for anybody, there was a lot of aquaplaning and we are 280-290 kph there, so it is pretty scary.
"But you know everything went well for us and we backed off a little bit in those aquaplaning moments and the rest of the lap was clean."
Alonso added that he was relieved to have made it to the end of the session.
"In these conditions there are surprises and moments everywhere. It was not fun."
He went on: "When you have these conditions its very difficult to put a clean lap together.
"Those are survival moments, you need to finish the session and see what you can get - and whatever the position, you are happy because you made the finish."
He thanked Ferrari for a strategic pit stop in Q3 to change tyres.
"That was when the track was in a little better condition and that helped us a lot to improve the lap time."