Sebastian Vettel maintained Red Bull's qualifying dominance after securing his seventh pole in eight race this season in Valencia.
The German stormed to top spot ahead of the European Grand Prix after beating Red Bull
team-mate Mark Webber
to pole as the championship leaders once again locked out the opening row of the grid.
Vettel had been quickest in the second stage of qualifying before the vital top-ten shootout and duly set the fastest time of the entire session on his first flying run in Q3.
That time, 1min 36.975secs, was good enough to see off all challengers with Vettel's rivals all failing to challenge on their second flying lap of the session – leaving the championship leader able to back off and return to the pits having gone back out on track to try and better his marker.
Webber was the only driver to improve on his time during his second run but he still fell two tenths of a second short of securing only his second pole position of the season, while Lewis Hamilton
managed to get ahead of Ferrari
pair Fernando Alonso
and Felipe Massa
to qualify in third place for McLaren.
team-mate Jenson Button
was less happy with his performance however as he was only able to qualify down in sixth place as he seeks to try and repeat the dramatic victory he secured a fortnight ago in Canada.
Nico Rosberg once again outqualified his Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher to take seventh on the grid, although the pair were split by just 0.009secs at the end of the session, while Nick Heidfeld
and Adrian Sutil
start from ninth and tenth on the grid.
Neither driver set a timed lap in Q3 as they preferred to save tyres for race day, although Heidfeld did at least venture onto the circuit while Sutil remained firmly in the pits.
Sutil had only made it through the final stage of qualifying thanks to his final lap of Q2, which edged Vitaly Petrov's Renault
out of the equation. That meant the Russian had to settle for eleventh on the grid ahead of Paul di Resta, who could have made Q3 himself but for a number of small mistakes on his flying lap.