Hamilton claimed his third pole of 2017 in Spain

Hamilton holds on to claim pole in Barcelona

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Lewis Hamilton has claimed pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix, just holding off Sebastian Vettel in an exciting qualifying session.

The three-time Formula 1 champion set a 1m19.149s on his first run in Q3 and it proved just enough as the German fell 0.051s shy on his last run.

It was almost very different, however, as, at the start of the session as on his first flying lap, the team asked Vettel to stop after a loss of power from the engine. That would have meant starting at the back of the grid, but the four-time champion questioned the radio message and his decision to carry on at a reduced speed would be vindicated as the problem cleared and he was able to resume.

Valtteri Bottas was left to rue a few small errors on both his runs in the final shootout in third and Kimi Raikkonen once again wasn't quite able to convert strong practice form into a strong qualifying claiming fourth.

Red Bull showed they have made progress in Barcelona as Max Verstappen was still only fifth, but less than six tenths slower than the pole time. Daniel Ricciardo struggled, however, half a second down on his team-mate in sixth.

A major surprise at the head of the midfield as Fernando Alonso produced two wonderful laps to firstly make Q3 and then claim seventh for McLaren at his home race, comfortably the best result of the British team's season so far.

The two Force India's also improved from practice as Sergio Perez claimed eighth and Esteban Ocon 10th with the Williams of Felipe Massa maintaining his consistent qualifying performances this season in between in ninth.

Outside the top 10, Kevin Magnussen put Haas close but not close enough in 11th, while his team-mate Romain Grosjean did look to have the pace to make Q3 but ran wide at Turn 13 ruining his lap and leaving him down in 14th.

Carlos Sainz wasn't able to maintain his practice form but will start his home Grand Prix from 12th, with Nico Hulkenberg very disappointed to end a strong run of qualifying results only 13th in the Renault.

Pascal Wehrlein was able to beat team-mate Marcus Ericsson by just five-thousandths of a second in Q1 and will start 15th. Jolyon Palmer was also struggling in the second Renault down in 17th, as Lance Stroll was unable to maintain enough grip in his rear tyres throughout the lap and was only 18th.

Stoffel Vandoorne remains the driver to have been eliminated early in every session so far in 19th with Daniil Kvyat the surprise name at the very back of the grid for Toro Rosso.