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Hamilton equals Senna with sensational Canadian GP pole

11 June 2017

An emotional Lewis Hamilton hailed a near-perfect lap after he matched the pole position tally of his childhood hero Ayrton Senna in Canada on Saturday.

Under huge pressure from Ferrari and his title rival coming into the Canadian GP, Hamilton delivered one of the most impressive qualifying laps of his Mercedes career to seal pole position ahead of the championship leader.

Hamilton remains three poles behind Michael Schumacher's career record of 68.

"Montreal has been good to me over the years", Hamilton added. "I'm shaking. I'm speechless. Ayrton inspired me to be where I am today - a big thank you to the Senna family".

"To receive this and match him is a great honor".

"I knew that Montreal has been a lovely place and a attractive home for me in the many years since my first win here".

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"I am honoured to be honoured by that family and honestly I couldn't be happier".

"They've got some unique bits on the vehicle that I think will work well for them this weekend, but that doesn't mean we can't take the fight to them". I can't believe it came together so well.

Hamilton steered his Mercedes to the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday.

"Maybe Monaco they were struggling a bit more in terms of pace, but everywhere else we went it's unfair to say that one was quicker than the other".

"I remember coming home from school and putting on video tape of Ayrton so it is really unusual to think that now I'm here and I have that many poles".

Valtteri Bottas was third in his Mercedes, followed by Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari. Of course we can't always be ideal, but today I got as close as I could get.

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However, Hamilton managed to find over 0.3s with his final run and Vettel just 0.006s, giving the Mercedes driver his sixth pole position in Montreal.

"I was so happy with the laps". Hamilton and Vettel had exchanged near-identical times on the first runs, split by 0.004s, which seemed to set up a grandstand finish to Q3.

"I'm expecting it to be very close in the race with Ferrari", Bottas said.

"It was a sexy lap, a great lap", he said, knowing that he had proved he had rediscovered his raw speed again after a desultory weekend at last month's Monaco Grand Prix.

The Australian's power problems ended his session just as Qualifying simulations ruled.

Force India had asked Perez to move over for Ocon, who was running on a different strategy, but the Mexican asked the team to let them race. For me, on the second run in Q3 I tried to go faster, I went too deep into the hairpin so I could have got a bit more out of it. He was the better man today.

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"We knew all weekend it would be very close. Looking forward for tomorrow". It's was a close battle past year between us and imagine us pushing all the way to the end.