British Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton captured pole position for the fourth consecutive Formula One race, beating out Germany's Sebastian Vettel and Australia's Mark Webber, who both drive for Red Bull, in Saturday's qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

In the last round of qualifying at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in the eastern town of Spa, Hamilton posted a lap time of 2:01.012, two-tenths of a second ahead of Vettel and three-tenths of a second faster than Webber, while Spanish Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso will start on the fifth row after finishing ninth.

Britain's Paul Di Resta, a driver for Force India, posted a time of 2:02.332 before the rains came at this notoriously weather-plagued venue and forced the racers to switch tires and be more cautious on the turns.

He held the lead until shortly before the end of qualifying, when the rains stopped and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, Webber, Vettel and finally Hamilton, who notched the 35th pole of his career, bested his time.

Vettel, the three-time defending champion, holds a comfortable lead in this year's drivers' standings heading into Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix, the 11th of the 19-race Formula One season. EFE