<
>

Lewis Hamilton presented with race-worn Ayrton Senna helmet after Canada pole

Lewis Hamilton was presented with a race-worn Ayrton Senna helmet from his Formula One hero's family after matching Senna's pole position tally at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton stormed to the 65th pole of his career -- and his sixth at Canada -- to move level with his idol in second place on the all-time list. He is now just three poles shy of equaling all-time record-holder Michael Schumacher on 68.

Having already set the fastest-ever lap around Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the Briton found over 0.3s on his final Q3 effort with a 1:11.459 to romp to his third pole of 2017, beating Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by 0.3s and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by a massive margin of 0.7s.

After being presented with Senna's helmet, worn in 1987 during his time at Lotus, a visibly emotional Hamilton said: "I'm shaking. I'm speechless. Ayrton I know for many people, he was your favourite driver and for me, he was the one that inspired me to be where I am today so to match him and to receive this is the greatest honour, so a big, big thank you to the Senna family."

Hamilton admitted he had been targeting Senna's record ever since he passed the Brazilian's tally of 41 race wins in 2015.

"This is the most special thing I own, beyond all my trophies and everything," he said. "I have equalled Ayrton in race wins a while ago so this has been my focus, literally as a kid I thought if I was lucky I could emulate Ayrton and I can't believe it. I remember coming home from school and putting on video tape of Ayrton so it is really strange to think that now I'm here and I have that many poles.

"And being that it is the most difficult season of my career racing these great drivers [Vettel, Bottas] and Kimi [Raikkonen], and having us so close, it pushes us all to the limit, it relies on us to be perfect. Of course we can't always be perfect but today I got as close as I could get."

When asked if equaling Schumacher's all-time pole record would mean as much as matching Senna's, Hamilton replied: "I haven't got there so I cannot really say -- I cannot really look that far ahead I have to be grateful and appreciate this moment.

"Ayrton was the guy who I knew at the beginning, it was the colour of the helmet, it is what you notice as a kid," he added. "To think I am close to Michael's incredible record, I plan on getting there, that will be an honour it itself at that moment, but that is all ifs and buts."