(CNN)Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix Saturday despite spinning off on the first corner of his final qualifying lap at a rain-affected Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.
Fortunately for the Briton, championship rival and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg followed up by skidding off on the last corner of his final run.
"It was quite a difficult qualifying with the track conditions," Hamilton later told reporters in quotes carried by the AFP news agency.
The 30-year-old clocked the fastest time of the day at 1minute 8.455 seconds on the penultimate qualifying lap, just 0.2 seconds faster than anything Rosberg, who had been fastest in Q1 and Q2, could manage.
"I was grateful I got my third lap in on the first run in Q3," Hamilton continued. "I was pushing that bit extra on the next run (Q4) and just locked the rears."
"I wasn't too concerned about losing pole at that time because I was trying to get the car going, but obviously afterwards I was thinking: 'I probably lost it there.'
The result guarantees Hamilton a 45th career pole and ensures Mercedes, which has dominated F1 in recent years, is at the top of the grid the 19th straight race.