Lewis Hamilton said it is “very special” for him to start the Canadian Grand Prix on pole position ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg following a difficult two days of practice.
The reigning world drivers champion suffered three incidents in Friday practice, including a crash in the rain, before complaining about not being able to get tyre temperature in the final practice on Saturday.
However Hamilton put the issues behind him in qualifying to finish 0.309 seconds ahead of Rosberg and claimed the 44th pole position of his career in Formula One.
“It really is [special]. I feel amazing today,” Hamilton said. “It wasn’t actually the easiest of days – P3 was quite tough and I didn’t really complete any laps. Mostly my fault, so I was going into qualifying a little bit blind really where the set-up would be.
“I won my first grand prix here in 2007 and that was incredibly special. So to be back here and to finally get another pole here and be the 44th, that’s very special, special for me.”
However Hamilton did admit to being concerned about Ferrari’s speed on the track after Kimi Raikkonen posted the third fastest time.
He added: “Ferrari have picked up their pace this weekend. The race is a bit of an unknown.”
Raikkonen’s team-mate and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel had a nightmare qualifying after suffering engine trouble and then being hit with a five-place grid penalty for infringing safety regulations which will see him start down in 16th on the grid.
Williams’ Valtteri Bottas helped Williams forget their poor performance in Monaco with the fourth fastest time at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.