In a chaotic third session of qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix here Saturday, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton grabbed the pole position ahead of William's Pastor Maldonado. Sahara Force India's Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg qualified in 13th and 14th position.
Maldonado had been very quick for Williams in Q2 and had just snatched provisional pole from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and the Lotuses of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen with 1m 22.285s when Hamilton redefined the parameters with 1m 21.707s.
A huge cheer went up around the circuit as home hero Alonso got provisional pole with 1m 22.302s. He, however finished third behind Hamilton and Maldonado.
Sergio Perez was sixth for Sauber with 1m 22.533s, while Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was the only other top-10 runner to post a time, with 1m 23.005s.
Defending champion Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel will start eighth after voluntarily aborting two runs, while Mercedes' Michael Schumacher similarly didn't record a Q3 time.
Behind them, Paul di Resta finally got the better of Force India partner Hulkenberg, 1m 23.125s to 1m 23.177s. Felipe Massa's woes continued as he was 17th for Ferrari on 1m 23.444s.