Lewis Hamilton stormed to his 65th Formula 1 pole position to equal his hero Ayrton Senna’s long-standing pole total. It is Lewis’ sixth pole position at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and his fourth of the 2017 season. Lewis’ pole lap of 1:11.459s is the fastest ever lap of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Valtteri Bottas will start tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix from P3. Both drivers completed a single run in Q1, two runs in Q2 and two runs in Q3 – all on UltraSoft.
Honestly, I’m so happy. Montreal has been very good to me over the years. It was such a close battle with the Ferraris – they have been so quick this weekend. I dug down deep… It was a great lap, a sexy lap! I can’t quite believe that it all came together so well. After such a tough time in Monaco, we learned from our mistakes. I owe this one to all the team back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth. I was just shaking when I was presented with Ayrton’s helmet. For many of you, Ayrton was your favourite driver. He was mine too. To receive this and match his record is a great honour.
Firstly, a big congratulations to Lewis for his 65th pole position today. It’s a great achievement to match Senna. I was really trying hard, but it was a tricky day for me. I struggled with the balance of the car and wasn’t really happy in FP3. We made some changes and the car was much better in qualifying, but then in Q3 when it came down to getting those last hundredths and tenths, the car became unstable again. I just couldn’t get that lap together. The long runs seem okay though, so once again, I’m expecting it to be very close in the race with Ferrari. It’s all about tomorrow.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
I’m very pleased indeed with how the team has worked this weekend. We have improved the car from session to session, made good decisions with the set-up and, with a sensational lap from Lewis on top, pole is the reward. We spent the first half of qualifying working out which timed lap was the optimum for tyre performance and, in the end, settled on the first timed lap. It was all on the line for Lewis in that final run, so to find three tenths was very impressive; it takes him to a very significant milestone in his career, level with Ayrton Senna in terms of pole positions, which I know means a lot to him. For Valtteri, third on the grid is a strong starting position but he wasn’t as comfortable with the car today. It was very closely matched with Ferrari and I’m sure we will see more of the same tomorrow. I am always the skeptic when it comes to making predictions – but that’s the mind-set we need to cover all the bases tonight and have a strong race.
Source: Mercedes-AMG Motorsport