McLaren Formula 1 junior Sergio Sette Camara scored pole position at Abu Dhabi as a number of his Formula 2 rivals failed to improve following a late yellow flag.
DAMS driver Sette Camara topped Friday's practice session - which took place seven hours before qualifying started, owing to the series bookending the day - and delivered a storming final sector within the last two minutes of qualifying to go fastest with a 1m49.751s lap.
Sean Gelael then brought out the late yellow when he spun between the final two corners and stalled in the pit entrance.
Sette Camara's pole is of vital importance in DAMS's bid to beat Virtuosi Racing to the teams' title, in the year DAMS lost its founder and long-term figurehead, Jean-Paul Driot.
DAMS is now 57 points ahead thanks to the four points Sette Camara's pole guaranteed.
Callum Ilott and Louis Deletraz completed the top three after both set session-best sectors on their last laps.
Sauber Junior Team driver Ilott - who is ending his stint with the team before moving to Virtuosi next season - had been quickest during the mid-session break when most drivers pause to debrief and take fresh tyres, and was just 0.089 seconds shy of Camara.
Deletraz - who Autosport understands will test with the Sauber Junior Team next week - beat team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita to third, ensuring the Carlin team occupies the second row.
Honda junior Matsushita is looking to end the year by fighting his way into the top five of the championship that he is currently just outside.
Virtuosi's Guan Yu Zhou rounded out the top five on the grid.
The 2019 champion Nyck de Vries went out of sync with most of his rivals as he elected not to go out early and instead run in the middle of the session on a quiet track. However, he could not take provisional pole.
On a fresh set of tyres he went out at the front of the queue of drivers looking to improve at the last, but the Mercedes Formula E driver - who has also driven an LMP2 car since his last outing in F2 - could only manage sixth.
Second in the championship and with a new Williams F1 contract, Nicholas Latifi headed a flurry of drivers unable to improve due to Gelael's stall in seventh.
He does however have the advantage of starting three spots ahead of his closest rival for second in the standings, Luca Ghiotto, who failed to bag a representative first lap and paid the price with the late yellow marring an improvement.
Behind Latifi, Jack Aitken took eighth for Campos ahead of de Vries' ART team-mate Nikita Mazepin, but the Russian drops to the back of the grid with a 15-place penalty earned at the last round at Sochi.
That moves Ferrari junior and Prema Racing driver Mick Schumacher up to ninth, ahead of Ghiotto.
Ahead of his first F2 start, Renault junior Christian Lundgaard took 18th for Trident, the Dane stepping up from ART Grand Prix in FIA Formula 3.
|1||Sergio Sette Camara||DAMS||1m49.751s|
|2||Callum Ilott||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||0.089s|
|6||Nyck de Vries||ART Grand Prix||0.537s|
|8||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||0.769s|
|9||Nikita Mazepin||ART Grand Prix||0.867s|
|10||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||0.901s|
|13||Jordan King||MP Motorsport||1.423s|
|14||Artem Markelov||BWT Arden||1.661s|
|15||Matevos Isaakyan||Sauber Junior Team by Charouz||1.771s|
|16||Marino Sato||Campos Racing||2.078s|
|17||Sean Gelael||Prema Racing||2.133s|
|19||Tatiana Calderon||BWT Arden||2.661s|
|20||Mahaveer Raghunathan||MP Motorsport||3.612s|