Lewis Hamilton will start on pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix for the third time in four years after edging out drivers' championship rival Sebastian Vettel in Barcelona. The race is set for 14 May.

The Mercedes driver set the fastest time in each of the three qualifying sessions and made his dominance count to ensure he will start the race on P1 for the third time this term.

Vettel recovered from engine problems in the third practice session to finish behind Hamilton – though he leads the championship by 13 points – with Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen on the second row.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo followed, while Fernando Alonso produced a remarkable performance and will start seventh on home soil. Sergio Perez, Felipe Massa and Esteban Ocon complete the top 10.

The result is a boost for Hamilton in his attempts to cut Vettel's lead in the title race, who had bemoaned tyre issues at the last race in Russia. The German will be delighted to start in the Briton's mirror after technical issues almost saw his challenge unravel.

"Amazing job by the team and super proud we can get back up there and have a better weekend," said Hamilton after claiming the 250th pole by a British driver in Formula One. "The first lap of Q3 was really good, the second was so-so. It's always a morale boost when you come and see support."

Despite an engine change just prior to the start of qualifying, Vettel missed out on pole due to a lock-up on turn two at the Circuit de Catalunya and was left ruing a driving error which extended his record of never starting the race at the head of the field.

"A tiny lockup was the difference," he explained. "I've been coming here so many times and still the last chicane is tricky for me. It was really close. A busy morning and a big thank you to the team. They did an engine change in under two hours which is unbelievable. It's a miracle they got me out. It would have been nice to get the pole but we will see tomorrow."

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton edged out Vettel to ensure he will start on pole for the third time in four races. Reuters