Callum Ilott took his fourth pole position of the Formula 2 season after topping a qualifying session at Monza that was prematurely ended by a crash for Mick Schumacher.
UNI-Virtuosi's Ilott lost the F2 points lead after a disastrous round at Spa last weekend where he scored just one point.
He responded with a stunning last-gasp effort in the 30-minute qualifying to edge Red Bull and Honda protege Yuki Tsunoda by just 0.030 seconds.
Ilott tucked in behind Brazilian racer Felipe Drugovich at the start of his final flying lap and used the tow to vault to the top of the leaderboard.
The majority of his rivals were unable to respond when Ilott's Ferrari stablemate Schumacher spun into the barriers on the exit of the Ascari chicane with just three minutes of the session remaining.
The red flag was called to recover Schumacher's car and the decision was made soon after to not restart the session.
This ensured Ilott claimed the four bonus points for pole to cut the points deficit to his fellow Ferrari junior Robert Shwartzman in the drivers' championship to six points.
Series veteran Luca Ghiotto enjoyed his best qualifying performance since Hungary with the third-fastest effort ahead of Renault junior Christian Lundgaard.
Roy Nissany, buoyed by his second Formula 1 free practice outing with Williams earlier on Friday, earned his best-ever F2 qualifying result in fifth place for Trident.
Prema's Schumacher was leading the session after the first qualifying runs but slipped down to seventh place following his crash, just behind late-improver Nikita Mazepin.
The top eight was completed by Tsunoda's Carlin team-mate Jehan Daruvala, with Haas Formula 1 reserve driver Louis Deletraz in ninth place for Charouz Racing System.
Dan Ticktum was within a tenth of Schumacher's benchmark following the first qualifying runs, but slipped down to 10th place after failing to improve on his second run.
Red Bull junior Juri Vips was 11th fastest in his second F2 qualifying session, just 0.008s adrift of his DAMS team-mate Ticktum.
ART Grand Prix's Marcus Armstrong was unable to follow through with his strong practice showing, with the 15th fastest time ahead of championship leader Shwartzman.
A grid spot of 16th place will mark the third feature race this season that Shwartzman has started from outside of the top 10.
Ilott's team-mate Guanyu Zhou's Monza struggles continued with his worst qualifying performance of the year in 17th position.
F2 Monza qualifying results
|3||Luca Ghiotto||Hitech Grand Prix||0.198s|
|4||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||0.271s|
|6||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech Grand Prix||0.338s|
|7||Mick Schumacher||Prema Racing||0.348s|
|9||Louis Deletraz||Charouz Racing System||0.413s|
|12||Felipe Drugovich||MP Motorsport||0.483s|
|13||Nobuharu Matsushita||MP Motorsport||0.491s|
|15||Marcus Armstrong||ART Grand Prix||0.663s|
|16||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Racing||0.668s|
|18||Pedro Piquet||Charouz Racing System||0.681s|
|19||Jack Aitken||Campos Racing||0.694s|
|20||Giuliano Alesi||BWT HWA RACELAB||0.697s|
|21||Artem Markelov||BWT HWA RACELAB||1.382s|
|22||Guilherme Samaia||Campos Racing||1.572s|