The former Formula One driver finished on pole for the third time this season ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr (NEXTEV TCR) and Audi Sport ABT's Lucas di Grassi, despite clipping the wall on the exit of the last corner of his flying lap.
e.dams-Renault driver Sebastien Buemi, who had dominated the pre-qualifying practice sessions, had to settle for fourth place after his final flying lap was hampered by Virgin Racing's Jaime Alguersuari.
Winner in Berlin a fortnight ago Jerome D'Ambrosio will start fifth alongside Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault). Prost seemed destined to finish on pole having set the fastest times in the first two sectors, but lost time in the final few corners and had to settle for sixth.
The top 10 is rounded out by Daniel Abt (Audi Sport ABT), Nick Heidfeld (Venturi), Jarno Trulli (Trulli) and Stephane Sarrazin (Venturi).
Formula E debutant Justin Wilson (Andretti) hat to settle for 13th, while Dragon Racing's Loic Duval will line-up 19th after suffering a breakdown at the exit of the hairpin at Turn 11.