(CNN) -- Red Bull's Mark Webber will start Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix in pole position after finishing first in qualifying at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
It was the 12th time in 13 races that the Red Bull team has started on pole this season.
The result gives the Australian -- who celebrated his 34th birthday on Friday -- the chance to claim his fifth victory of the season and extend his lead at the top of the drivers' championship.
Webber will be joined on the front row of the grid by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton after the 2008 world champion recorded his fastest lap in the dying moments of the third qualifying session, despite the onset of rain.
The Briton's impressive late showing edged out Renault's Robert Kubica who will start Sunday's race in third.
Webber recorded his fastest lap time (one minute 45.788 seconds) at the beginning of the third qualifying session.
"We knew the first lap was going to be pretty important because round here it is so unpredictable - the weather has been unique, even for Spa. It has been so on and off," Webber said, AFP reported.
"It was nice to be on pole halfway through, but the weather made it more difficult to improve on our second attempt," Webber added, AFP reported.
His team mate Sebastian Vettel finished fourth, while McLaren's Jenson Button will start in fifth place.
The biggest surprise of qualifying was the poor showing of Spain's Fernando Alonso.
The double world champion was hotly tipped to challenge for pole position in his Ferrari, but could only manage 10th place in qualifying -- four places behind team mate Felipe Massa who finished sixth.
Alonso currently lies in fifth place in the drivers' championship, 20 points adrift of championship leader Webber, and will need a fast start if he is to maintain his challenge for the 2010 drivers' championship.
Directly in front of him on the grid stand Williams' Rubens Barrichello, who qualified seventh, and Nico Hulkenberg (ninth), as well as Force India's Adrian Sutil who starts in eighth.
Mercedes GP's Michael Schumacher finished in 11th place, but will start Sunday's race in 21st position after picking up a ten-place grid penalty for impeding Rubens Barrichello during the latter stages of the Hungarian Grand Prix earlier this month.