Red Bull looked to hold the edge over Mercedes after Verstappen ended up half a second clear of the field in Q2, but Hamilton pulled out another special qualifying lap to pip his title rival to pole by just 0.036s and become F1’s first pole centurion.

Hamilton produced a 1m16.741s on his first run in Q3 and that lap proved to be good enough to land his second pole of the season with none of the front-runners able to improve on their final efforts.

Valtteri Bottas will start from third on the grid after he ended up 0.132s down on his Mercedes teammate.

Behind the leading teams, Charles Leclerc claimed ‘best of the rest’ for Ferrari in fourth with a lap that was over 0.7s adrift of Hamilton’s benchmark.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon turned in another standout qualifying display as he finished a brilliant fifth, ahead of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Sergio Perez could only qualify a disappointing eighth in the second Red Bull after spinning on his first lap of Q3.

Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso completed the rest of the top-10 for McLaren and Alpine.

In an incredibly tight qualifying, 0.008s was all that separated Lance Stroll from a place in the top-10 shootout, as the Aston Martin driver finished 11th ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.

Sebastian Vettel recorded his joint-best qualifying result for Aston Martin in 13th, a few tenths clear of Antonio Giovinazzi who was the highest-placed Alfa Romeo in 14th.

George Russell was 15th-fastest on his fourth Q2 appearance of the season for Williams.

A small error on his final run resulted in Yuki Tsunoda suffering a surprise elimination in Q1 as the AlphaTauri driver missed out on a spot in Q2 by just 0.007s.

He was joined in the bottom five by Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, who recorded his worst qualifying result in Spain since 2003 and Haas rookie Mick Schumacher, who outpaced Nicholas Latifi’s Williams by a tenth to take 18th.

In the second Haas, Nikita Mazepin once again found himself anchored to the bottom of the qualifying timesheets, almost 0.7s down on his teammate.

Click here for full qualifying results for the 2021 F1 Spanish GP.

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