Vettel steals pole at European Grand Prix

Hamilton also on front row; Maldonado will start third

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position at the European Grand Prix for the third straight year.

The two-time defending Formula One champion, who has won the race the past two seasons, clocked the fastest lap of 1 minute, 38.086 seconds on Valencia's 5.4-kilometer (3.3-mile) street circuit.

Lewis Hamilton of McLaren is also on the front row for Sunday's race, while 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.

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