Lewis Hamilton had his heart in his mouth when he almost lost control of his car in qualifying, though he still relished the wet conditions as he claimed a superb pole position for the Styrian Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen led Q3 with two minutes remaining before Hamilton produced two superb labs to ultimately finish 1.216 seconds clear of the Dutchman, who spun in his last attempt.
Torrential rain meant qualifying was delayed on Saturday and there was doubt over whether it would take place at all.
But the six-time world champion emerged on top in all three dramatic sessions after the action went ahead.
"What a tricky day," he said. "The weather is obviously incredibly difficult out there for all of us – a lot of the time you can't even see where you are going.
"I had one big moment, I think the lap before the last, when there was a big aquaplane and I definitely had my heart in my mouth.
"I was then able to improve on the next lap, nice and clean.
"I love these days. Racing feels like it used to, though obviously [driving in the wet is] 100 times worse when you are in a Formula One car."
It was a welcome result for Hamilton, who suffered penalties in both qualifying and the race last week at Red Bull Ring, meaning he had to settle for fourth place.
He also struggled in Friday practice ahead of the second of two back-to-back events in Austria, but now looks well placed to recover ground in the drivers' standings.
Hamilton added: "Yesterday was a difficult day. It started off well in P1, but in P2 there was a big issue for us.
"We have discovered what it is overnight – nothing major – so [Saturday] would have been better for us [than Friday] if it were dry. But I'm grateful for the rain, always.
"I've heard [Sunday] is going to be a much sunnier day, so we will prepare for both conditions.
"I'm glad that it was a trouble-free session, I didn't make any mistakes, so that is always a positive. That is where I want to start and honestly I am pleased."
Carlos Sainz was third for McLaren, leaving Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas down in fourth and with work to do after his Austrian Grand Prix victory last week.
"It was not easy," said Bottas. "I didn't look to be fourth on the grid, but obviously tricky conditions can bring different challenges.
"For me, personally, I don't think I managed to build enough temperature in the tyres."