By Alan Baldwin
LEWIS Hamilton put Mercedes on pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday with a fourth successive win beckoning on Sunday.
Championship-leading team-mate Nico Rosberg, who is four points clear of Hamilton, qualified second with Australian Daniel Ricciardo starting third for champions Red Bull.
Hamilton, celebrating his fourth pole of the season and 35th of his career with a time 0.168 seconds quicker than the German, will take the overall lead in the standings if he wins at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“It’s been a tough day,” Hamilton told BBC Sport. “Nico has been driving really well so I didn’t know whether I’d be able to get it. But right at the end I managed to get absolutely everything out of the car.”
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, winner in front of his home fans last year, qualified seventh with Red Bull’s quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel lining up in 10th place after stopping on track in the final phase of the session.