Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reckons Formula 1 rival Williams deserved to lock out the Austrian Grand Prix front row, because it handled changing track conditions better than anyone else.
Williams ended Mercedes' 100 per cent run of F1 pole positions in 2014 as Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas consigned championship leader Nico Rosberg to third on the grid.
Wolff suggested Williams had run a more aggressive set-up on its cars to ensure it qualified well, but praised the effort of the Grove-based team in ending Mercedes' dominant run.
"This seems to be a particular track," Wolff said, when asked whether he was surprised to see Williams lead the way.
"We were running really well yesterday - the gaps seemed to have increased.
"This morning we started to work on the race set-up and somehow we put a foot wrong, didn't recover in the way we wanted, and there is not one thing to blame.
"When you have a difficult start to the day, you don't recover, and the drivers make many mistakes and don't put the laps together, then you have another team out there doing well throughout the weekend already, and doing it right for qualifying.
"I don't know if they went aggressive on their set-up but I guess so, and our problem - the understeer - was handled much better by Williams.
"They got the temperature of the fronts in the window from the first lap onwards and here you are they are on pole.
"Today, Williams did a really good job."