Formula One: Lewis Hamilton claims 'much-needed' pole in Barcelona

"I have no idea what they've changed", said the Red Bull driver.

"I think you should ask us what we need to overtake", interjected Vettel. I've not had pole for a while.

The results of qualifying are particularly important at the Circuit de Catalunya as all-but-three of the last 17 races at Barcelona have been won from pole position. It was a very close qualifying.

"There is still lots of work to do but this is a good way to start the weekend".

While Valtteri Bottas had dominated in the opening session, Hamilton set the pace with a 1m18.259s on the soft compound tire.

Vettel felt sure he had done enough to get the better of Hamilton with a stunning final lap, but still came up short and is anticipating "an interesting race". "I think it didn't change too much", he said. I managed to put the lap together an it was extremely close, like all weekend.

"We should make the decisions", the four-time champion said. "But this is what we had today", he added.

Vettel said drivers could offer useful insights. The vehicle was fine and we didn't have much to do. Obviously we were quite OK this morning and we were trying to find the right direction but it was not straightforward in quali. I didn't have a great feeling on the tires, which have been different the whole weekend. P3 is not a bad place to be in.

For as long as we can remember we have questioned the exact role of the Grand Prix Drivers" Association, the so-called "drivers' union'. We're not engineers, but we know exactly what's going on with the cars during the racing. I'm enjoying the battle, I'm enjoying the challenge. Hamilton complained, Vettel complained, (Kimi) Raikkonen... they all complained. However, due to the high aerodynamic downforce on the cars, it is hard to follow, which has limited overtaking opportunities at certain circuits. At that point, I was in a position where I had nothing to lose, so we chose to try something else.

"We expected Mercedes to be very strong and so they were. I don't know why they worked in Australia and they haven't worked ever since". More challenging, you see us more exhausted after the race. You have to consider that from turn one to turn four is flat out now, also turn seven to turn ten. "I think the racing and this side of stuff that we are involved first hand, we should be consulted at least". "We will try our best". "But we're not really asked".

'I have always tried to hear what the drivers are saying. "I have some catching up to do overall in terms of the points, so I will be aiming to do as well as I can".

But Todt said: 'I do respect the drivers and know how busy they can be.

"I am feeling really good in the vehicle at the moment and, looking to tomorrow, I think we will be strong on race pace".