The 27-year-old will start ahead of his teammate Jenson Button and Ferrari's Felipe Massa.
"I had much better laps in practice but generally I can't complain," Hamilton is quoted as saying by the BBC. "I didn't think that lap was anywhere near good enough.
"I had Kimi [Raikkonen] and the two Ferraris in front and I wasn't able to better it. I'm happy for the team because they have been doing a fantastic job. To have us both up here is what they deserve.
"It's a beautiful track, and the more you drive it you respect it more and more. Also the fans here are fantastic, great people who love motor racing. It's great to see."
Championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari finished 10th.