Lewis Hamilton equalled Ayrton Senna's record with his 65th career pole position as he set the pace during the qualifying session of 2017 Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Saturday.
The Mercedes driver began Friday's first practice session on a high but was edged out by Ferrari drivers in the second and then the final practice run on Saturday morning. However, the Brit got back to his best in the qualifying session, starting Q1 with 1:12.692s, which was bettered only by his teammate Valtteri Bottas. In P2, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel came close as he clocked 1:12.749.
However, Hamilton stole the show in Q3 with the fastest-ever lap time in the circuit - 1:11.496 as his Ferrari rival was not able to improve on his Q2 timing. After a horrid show in Monaco last month, it was important for the Mercedes star to get back to his best as he is trailing driver standing's leader Vettel by 25 points with 104 in his bank.
A win on Sunday will be crucial for Hamilton as the Vettel-led Ferrari team are matching or even bettering what Mercedes has been doing this season, unlike the last few years. The Birt though has won five titles and he is the second most successful driver behind Michael Schumacher at Montreal, which makes him the favourite to win Sunday's race.
Bottas will start from the second row of the grid along with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen. Red Bull's Max Verstappen was once again impressive as he finished with a fastest lap of 1:12.403 and will begin the race from the third row along with teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Felipe Massa of Mercedes stepped up in Q3 clocking a timing of 1:12.858, which was also the seventh best qualifying performance. Force India's Sergio Perez will join him in the fourth row at the start on Sunday.
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