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Webber secures pole in Spain

Mark Webber, Red Bull RacingMark Webber claimed his first pole position since last year's Belgian Grand Prix in qualifying in Spain.

The Australian beat his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel to the top spot as the duo mounted an intra-team battle nearly a second clear of all their rivals.

Both chose to make just one Q3 run, with Vettel - who had been suffering an apparent KERS issue earlier in qualifying - setting a 1m21.181s before Webber beat it with a 1m20.981s. Under no threat from anyone else, they then sat out the remaining five minutes of the session.

Lewis Hamilton escaped a big lock-up on his best lap to take third for McLaren, which looked set to fill row two until Fernando Alonso produced his best qualifying effort of 2011 so far to take fourth from Jenson Button. Felipe Massa was back in eighth in the second Ferrari, 0.9s off Alonso.

Vitaly Petrov was an impressive sixth for Renault, just ahead of Nico Rosberg, whose Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher chose not to go for a time in Q3.

Pastor Maldonado showed his strongest Formula 1 form yet to make it to Q3 for the first time - and only the second time for Williams this year - and was just off Massa's pace in ninth.

The Toro Rossos and Saubers will share rows six and seven, but the most notable result of Q2 was that Heikki Kovalainen got Lotus into the second part of qualifying for only the second time in the team's history. He then went on to beat the Force Indias to 15th place, though the latter team had played it conservatively and opted to only use hard tyres in Q2, saving more softs for the race.

Kovalainen's progress was not just due to Lotus having made a step forward this weekend, for two big names dropped out in Q1. A gearbox problem stranded Rubens Barrichello (Williams) in 19th place while despite Renault's best efforts, Nick Heidfeld's fire-damaged car could not be repaired in time for qualifying.

Jarno Trulli only just made it out in Q1 due to a gearbox issue but still manged to grab 18th, and a hydraulic problem gave Jerome D'Ambrosio some scores before the Virgin driver scraped in with a time 0.2s quicker than the 107 per cent cut-off, placing him behind the Hispanias.

Pos  Driver                Team                 Time            Gap   
 1.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m20.981s
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m21.181s   + 0.200
 3.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m21.961s   + 0.980
 4.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m21.964s   + 0.983
 5.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m21.996s   + 1.015
 6.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault              1m22.471s   + 1.490
 7.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m22.599s   + 1.618
 8.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m22.888s   + 1.907
 9.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth    1m22.952s   + 1.971
10.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes
Q3 cut-off time: 1m23.026s                                   Gap **
11.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m23.231s   + 1.691
12.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m23.367s   + 1.827
13.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m23.694s   + 2.154
14.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m23.702s   + 2.162
15.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault        1m25.403s   + 3.863
16.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercede  1m26.126s   + 4.586
17.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercede  1m26.571s   + 5.031
Q3 cut-off time: 1m25.874s                                    Gap *
18.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault        1m26.521s   + 3.561
19.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth    1m26.910s   + 3.950
20.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth      1m27.315s   + 4.355
21.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth         1m27.809s   + 4.849
22.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         1m27.908s   + 4.948
23.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth      1m28.556s   + 5.596
24.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault              No time

107% time: 1m28.767s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
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