Lewis Hamilton reeled off consecutive scorching lap times to beat Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas to pole in Montreal. This was the Englishman’s 65th pole position in F1, meaning he equals Ayrton Senna’s number of poles. He now only needs three more to draw level with the all-time record holder Micheal Schumacher.
“I am so happy,” Hamilton said, after receiving one of Senna’s old helmets as a gift. “Montreal has been good to me over the years. It was a close battle with the Ferraris, who have been so quick all year. I just wanted a good lap, and I got it”. However, it appeared he was thinking much more about equalling his childhood hero. “Wow, I’m shaking. Ayrton, I know for many of you was your favourite driver and he was for me. He inspired me to be where I am today so to receive this is the greatest honour.”
In reality Vettel was quite unlucky that Hamilton’s form was so impressive. Hamilton set a 1:11.791 late in the session, but Vettel was unable to beat that, setting a time four thousands of a second slower than Hamilton. Hamilton managed to improve his time in the end by three tenths though.
Bottas was only two tenths down on Vettel, but never really fought for pole. Vettel still seemed content with his qualifying performance. He said “I think we have the pace (to win). I was not so happy with the last lap but it was a good qualifying session.”
Other notable performances came from Felipe Massa, who beat the Force Indias to seventh place, and Fernando Alonso, who is in the form of his life, sadly in a car which the Spaniard should not be driving. He steered the Mclaren to 12th place at a track where straight line speed is vital. It is a testament to the driving talent of Alonso and his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, who qualified 16th, that the two Mclarens did not lock out the back row of the grid.
Photo courtesy of F1