BARCELONA: Australian Mark Webber stormed to his second pole position this season as Red Bull swept to another front-row lockout in Saturday's qualifying session for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.
In the fifth race weekend of the 2010 season — the first in Europe — the Red Bull team continued to pulverise its rivals with the speed of their cars — Webber clocking a best lap of one minute and 19.995 seconds to take pole.
It was the first sub-1.20 lap of the weekend and left a clear window of a second in speed between him and the best of the rest.
Briton Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 champion, was third fastest for McLaren ahead of his former team-mate and rival Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
Defending champion Jenson Button, struggling with a little under-steer, was fifth in the second McLaren and seven-time champion German Michael Schumacher, 41, maintained his revival by taking sixth for Mercedes.
This left him ahead of his team-mate and compatriot Nico Rosberg for the first time this year after outpacing him in all sessions so far this weekend.
Pole Robert Kubica was seventh for Renault ahead of Rosberg, who was eighth, with Brazilian Felipe Massa ninth in the second Ferrari and Japanese Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber snatching a remarkable 10th on the grid, thanks to a spirited effort in Q2.
Hamilton was out early to record a quick lap for McLaren, but it was not long before the Red Bulls responded with Vettel taking a second out of the Englishman's best lap — and then watching as his ultra-competitive team-mate Webber trimmed his time with a lap in one minute and 20.239.
Alonso caused trouble when he darted out of the Ferrari garage and narrowly avoided a collision with Rosberg, the German immediately protesting to his team on radio.
Earlier, Hispania Racing's Karun Chandhok and Virgin Racing's Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi were handed five place grid penalties.
Chandhok was penalised for changing his gearbox while the Virgin men were sanctioned because they failed to tell the organisers about their chosen gear ratios within the permitted two—hour time limit from the end of Friday practice.
1. Mark Webber (Red Bull Renault) 1:19.995 secs., 2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) 1:20.101, 3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) 1:20.829, 4. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 1:20.937, 5. Jenson Button (McLaren Mercedes) 1:20.991, 6. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) 1:21.294, 7. Robert Kubica (Renault) 1:21.353, 8. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:21.408, 9. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1:21.585, 10. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) 1:21.984; 11. Adrian Sutil (Force India), 17. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Force India), 23. Karun Chandhok (Hispania). — Agencies