Hamilton on pole for Spanish Grand Prix

Sat May 10, 2014 3:25pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton played a qualifying ace on Saturday to seize pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix and deal another blow to championship-leading Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg.

German Rosberg, who is four points clear of Hamilton but has been runner-up to the Briton in the last three races, qualified second with Australian Daniel Ricciardo starting third for champions Red Bull.

"When you've been on the back foot and clearly your team mate's got the upper hand but you manage to pull out an ace card just for that last lap, it's a great feeling," Hamilton told reporters after his fourth pole in five races.

Hamilton, whose pole was the 35th of his career, was 0.168 seconds quicker than Rosberg who has led the championship since the season-opener in Australia but is fast losing momentum.

"I didn't know whether I'd be able to get it but right at the end I just had to eke out absolutely everything and more from the car," said Hamilton, who could leave the Circuit de Catalunya as overall leader on Sunday night.

"To have the kind of performance we have, I have never really known that before. I'm overwhelmed, I'm so happy," added the 2008 champion, whose dominant team have taken every pole and won every race so far this year.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, winner in front of his home fans here last year, qualified seventh behind Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen in sixth.

Finland's Valtteri Bottas starts fourth for Williams, with Frenchman Romain Grosjean fifth for Lotus.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (C) of Britain gestures after taking the pole position, accompanied by second-fastest teammate Nico Rosberg (L) of Germany and third-fastest Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo (R) of Australia, at the qualifying session of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit in Montmelo May 10, 2014. REUTERS/Albert Gea