Sebastian Vettel starts from pole

Updated: June 23, 2012, 10:02 AM ET
Associated Press

VALENCIA, Spain -- Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel will start from the pole at the European Grand Prix for the third straight year.

The two-time defending Formula One champion has won the race the past two seasons. He had the fastest lap Saturday, finishing in 1 minute, 38.086 seconds on Valencia's 3.3-mile street circuit.

Lewis Hamilton of McLaren is also on the front row for Sunday's race. Pastor Maldonado of Williams will start third.

Ferrari pair Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher of Mercedes failed to reach the third qualifying session. Schumacher, a seven-time F1 champion, will start between the pair in 12th place.

Vettel's teammate, Mark Webber, was eliminated after the first period because of mechanical trouble. He will start 19th.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press