Nico Hulkenberg has just taken pole at the Grand Prix in Brazil.

As the Interlagos track was drying and cars had changed from intermediates to dry tyres, the German put in a qualifying lap of 1:14.470 to beat his nearest rival by over a second.

Behind Hulkenberg, the qualifying order runs:

2- Sebastian Vettel

3- Mark Webber

4- Lewis Hamilton

5- Fernando Alonso

6- Rubens Barrichello

7- Robert Kubica

8- Michael Schumacher

9- Felipe Massa

10- Vitaly Petrov

McLaren’s Jenson Button slipped outside the top 10 during Q3 and failed to go through into the final session.

Vettel has to be considered a strong contender for victory tomorrow, having out-paced his Red Bull teammate Webber by 0.1s.

Alonso’s grid position of 5th, unusual in light of his recent race dominance and upward trajectory, will promise a stiff fight for a podium. He has all his championship rivals (bar Button) ahead of him.

But today is Hulkenberg’s day to celebrate. His previous best qualifying was 5th in Malaysia, back in April. It is Williams’ first pole since the European Grand Prix in 2005.

It seems his car was set up for the wet. The race is forecast to be dry.

Was this an attention-grabbing move by Hulkenberg, whisking a surprise pole from under the noses of Vettel, Webber and Hamilton, in order to catch his bosses’ attention and secure his drive for next season?