Emotional Hamilton equals Senna's haul with blistering lap in Montreal

Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes during Canadian Grand Prix first practice

Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes during Canadian Grand Prix first practice

Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix on pole position ahead of championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

It was the fastest qualifying lap ever at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, nearly 1.5 seconds faster than the pace that won him last year's pole and even one second better than Vettel ran in his Ferrari during Saturday morning's practice. The fact that I have now reached him in that area - I can't believe it. "Of course we can't always be flawless but today I got as close as I could get". Luckily, I got it.

"It's was a sexy lap".

"There was a lot of potential in the auto, but I was not driving very well and did not manage to put a good lap together", said the Finn. "I was on the podium and I looked down and I could see my dad and I could see one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen in my life on his face". The team did a fantastic job.

Hamilton admitted he had set a target of matching Senna's record since he surpassed his hero's tally of 41 race wins.

It also means that Hamilton has taken 65 career poles in the sport - equaling that of his idol Ayrton Senna. But it was Senna, Hamilton's favorite driver, who was the target. Speechless. I know that Ayrton was for many of you your favourite driver, and he was the same for me. "To receive this and match him is a great honour".

Ferrari's Sebatian Vettel pushed the Briton all the way - at one point just four-thousandths of a second separated the pair, before Hamilton found even more speed as the clocked ticked down in the top 10 shootout. I am so honoured to be honoured by that family.

"It was a close battle but I was gunning and pushing". He said that small errors cost him a shot at pole. He needs to make the best of it on Sunday, however.

"I think we have (got the pace to win tomorrow)", Vettel said.

It was another bitterly frustrating day for Fernando Alonso as the double world champion was forced to the sidelines in the morning session with mechanical problems then did not get back onto the track until late in the afternoon as his team struggled to fix hydraulic problems. I would have loved to repeat the second run I had and just find a little bit.

"It was close here as I had expected", Bottas said. As for me, I lost the auto in Turn 2 and from there I knew I had to catch up.

The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was third, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari, with the two Red Bull Racing cars of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo completing the top six on the grid for the race that begins at 10pm UAE time.

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