Spanish GP: Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes front row

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton secured an all-Mercedes front row in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix

Spanish GP: Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes front row

Rosberg repeated his Bahrain pole in a brilliant Q3 performance in which he delivered two laps good enough for the top spot.

His initial 1m20.8s benchmark proved unbeatable, but Rosberg still improved to a 1m20.718s with his last run just to be certain.

Hamilton had to settle for second, 0.254 seconds adrift.

Formula 1 championship leader Sebastian Vettel was third for Red Bull, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus and Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa mounted a strong challenge for pole only to lose time in sector three and end up sixth.

He will also have to see the stewards after the session having seemingly impeded Mark Webber's Red Bull in Q2.

News update: Massa gets grid penalty

The Australian subsequently qualified eighth, behind Romain Grosjean's Lotus.

Hamilton had earlier starred in a thrilling end to Q2, throwing in a last-gasp lap that jumped him from a worrying 13th to a comfortable first, six tenths clear of the pack.

Sergio Perez also produced an eleventh-hour surge in Q2, getting up to seventh and then qualifying ninth. His McLaren team-mate Jenson Button could not match that - six tenths slower, he will start only 14th.

Toro Rosso had looked promising in practice and both Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne had a realistic shot at Q3, holding top-10 spots late on before being narrowly squeezed out.

They will share row six, ahead of Adrian Sutil, who could not join team-mate Paul di Resta in the pole session. The Scot took 10th.

Going into the final seconds of Q2, both Saubers had made it into Q3. But in the subsequent flurry of improvements, Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez tumbled down to row eight. The Mexican could yet face sanctions for blocking Raikkonen in Q1.

News update: Gutierrez gets grid penalty

Last year's winner Williams's plight deepened, despite its upgrades, as neither car got beyond Q1.

Twelve months on from his pole and win, Pastor Maldonado was only 18th - and accused of blocking by Button - while Valtteri Bottas was just one place ahead.

The back of the grid battle stepped up a gear with a very close tussle between Caterham and Marussia.

Giedo van der Garde finally emerged on top for Caterham, edging out Marussia's Jules Bianchi by just 0.052s.

Max Chilton and Charles Pic were a few tenths behind having also had a sniff of 'class pole'.

 Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m20.718s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m20.972s + 0.254s 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m21.054s + 0.336s 4. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m21.177s + 0.459s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m21.218s + 0.500s 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m21.219s + 0.501s 7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m21.308s + 0.590s 8. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m21.570s + 0.852s 9. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m22.069s + 1.351s 10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m22.233s + 1.515s Q2 cut-off time: 1m22.019s Gap ** 11. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m22.127s + 1.126s 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m22.166s + 1.165s 13. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m22.346s + 1.345s 14. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m22.355s + 1.354s 15. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m22.389s + 1.388s 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m22.793s + 1.792s Q1 cut-off time: 1m23.218s Gap * 17. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m23.260s + 1.532s 18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m23.318s + 1.590s 19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m24.661s + 2.933s 20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m24.713s + 2.985s 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m24.996s + 3.268s 22. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m25.070s + 3.342s 107% time: 1m27.448s * Gap to quickest in Q1 ** Gap to quickest in Q2 
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Spanish GP: Felipe Massa fastest for Ferrari in final practice

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Rosberg , Lewis Hamilton , Olivier Panis
Teams Mercedes
Author Matt Beer
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