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12.05.2012, 17:15 RT.com

Hamilton beyond competition in Spain Grand Prix qualification

Hamilton beyond competition in Spain Grand Prix qualification

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has secured first place at the starting grid of the Spanish Grand Prix, storming past Pastor Maldonado to deny the Venezuelan his first Formula One pole position.

Hamilton, who claimed his third pole position of the season, left it to his final flying lap to outstrip the Williams driver by more than half a second.

The Briton is seeking his first victory at the Catalunya Circuit and if he succeeds, the season will have a fifth different winner in the first five GPs for the first time since 1983.

Local idol Fernando Alonso of Ferrari will start Sunday’s race from third, with Lotus pair Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen completing the top five.

Current overall leader and defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel opted to save his tires and failed to set a qualifying time in the third segment,leaving him eighth on the starting grid.

Vitaly Petrov of Caterham beat his teammate Heike Kovalainen, but this could hardly gladden the Russian as he only managed to settle for 19th.

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