Lewis Hamilton made it four pole positions in five races this season as he again left Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg trailing.

With Mercedes again proving to be way ahead of their rivals, Hamilton finished 0.168 seconds ahead of Rosberg as the all-conquering force in Formula One again locked out the front row of the Spanish Grand Prix grid.

The UK-based marque were so dominant around Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya that third-on-the-grid Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull was a full second down on Hamilton, who grabbed the 35th pole of his F1 career.

Williams' Valtteri Bottas starts fourth, followed by a superb effort from Romain Grosjean to haul his Lotus up to a season-high fifth.

Kimi Raikkonen will start ahead of Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, with the duo sixth and seventh respectively, followed by Jenson Button in his McLaren in eighth, with Williams' Felipe Massa ninth.

Sebastian Vettel's pain in Spain continued after the reigning four-times Formula One world champion was handed a five-place grid penalty ahead of Sunday's grand prix.

Vettel will now start 15th after requiring a gearbox change to his Red Bull which lost drive in the early stages of the final part of the qualifying session

It was another kick in the teeth for Vettel after missing virtually all of Friday's practice sessions due to his car incurring a simple wiring loom fault that took an age to fix.

"I've no drive," complained Vettel, who pulled over at turn three, resulting in an over-the-radio apology to Hamilton as he held up the Briton on his first attempt at a hot lap.

Vettel's problems, with eight minutes of the 12 remaining in Q1, resulted in red flags appearing for a second time during qualifying following Pastor Maldonado's crash in Q1.

Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez will line up 11th and 12th for Force India, with Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat 13th for Toro Rosso, followed by Esteban Gutierrez in his Sauber.

Kevin Magnussen will start 15th as a technical issue with his McLaren prevented him from a making run in Q2, similarly with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne - who qualified 16th.

The Frenchman, however, has a 10-place grid penalty against his name and will now drop to 21st, rather than the back of the grid, thanks to Maldonado.

Q1 was disrupted by a shocking error from the Lotus driver, who won this race two years ago for Williams but will start 22nd and last for the second successive grand prix.

In China, Maldonado failed to even make it out of the garage due to his car sustaining an oil leak and was forced to line up 22nd.

In Barcelona, the 29-year-old ran wide on to the astroturf on the outside of turn three, sending him into a spin into a wall where he lost the front-right wheel.

Ahead of the back-row pairing of Vergne and Maldonado will be Adrian Sutil in his Sauber in 16th, followed by Marussia duo Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi, with Caterham pair Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi 19th and 20th.

Chilton's time, however, of 1:29.586 would only have been good enough for fourth on the grid in the GP2 support race at this track.