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UPDATE 1-Motor racing-Hamilton on pole in Canada to equal Senna's haul
June 10, 2017 / 6:42 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Motor racing-Hamilton on pole in Canada to equal Senna's haul

* Hamilton takes 65th career pole, matches Senna

* Pole is his third in a row in Canada, sixth in total

* Briton now only three off Schumacher’s record

* Championship leader Vettel qualifies second for Ferrari (Adds detail, quotes)

By Steve Keating

MONTREAL, June 10 (Reuters) - Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton produced a moment of Montreal magic on Saturday to put his Mercedes on pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix and equal Ayrton Senna’s career haul of 65.

The Briton’s third pole in a row in Canada equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of six at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but it took a stunning lap worthy of his late Brazilian hero Senna to do it.

After Ferrari had dominated the day’s final practice, Hamilton moved it up a level with a lap faster than any previously recorded at the sun-bathed island circuit.

Then, with Ferrari’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel piling on the pressure with a time only 0.004 slower, the Briton went even faster to finish with a flourish and a lap of one minute 11.459 seconds.

“It was a sexy lap. It was a great lap. I can’t believe that it came together so well,” he said.

The pole, which left him three adrift of Schumacher’s all-time record of 68, came 10 years on from the first of his Formula One career at the same track with McLaren.

Vettel, a four times world champion with Red Bull who leads Hamilton by 25 points after six races, qualified second for Sunday’s race.

Finland’s Valtteri Bottas, who replaced retired 2016 champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes in January, qualified third for Mercedes with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, the polesitter in Monaco two weeks ago, fourth.

Hamilton was presented publicly after qualifying with one of Senna’s race-worn helmets, a gesture from the Brazilian driver’s family that left him momentarily stunned.

“I‘m shaken, I‘m speechless,” he said, standing in front of the crowded stands.

“Ayrton, I know for many of you was your favourite driver and it was the same for me. He was the one who inspired me to be where I am today. So to match him, and to receive this, is the greatest honour.” (Editing by Alan Baldwin)

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