Hamilton emotional after equalling Senna milestone

Pole sitter Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, centre, of Great Britain is flanked by second place finisher Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, left, of Germany, and third place finisher Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland following the qualifying session at the F1 Canadian Grand Prix auto race, Saturday, June 10, 2017, in Montreal.

To mark his success in equalling Senna's record -- leaving only Schumacher's record 68 poles to beat -- Hamilton was presented with one of Senna's helmets after the session, on behalf of the Senna family.

Vettel holds a 129-104 lead over Hamilton in the standings as Mercedes and Ferrari have dueled in one of the most competitive seasons in recent memory.

"Wow, I am shaking", Hamilton told a news conference.

"I knew, if I was really lucky and got to Formula 1, that I'd want to emulate Ayrton so, the fact that I've now reached him in that area I just can't believe it".

"To receive this and match him is a great honor". For many of you, Ayrton was your favourite driver.

"I was so happy with the laps". I can't believe that it came together so well.

Hamilton has long since surpassed Senna's record of 41 wins - he did so at the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix - and now has 55.

"I remember coming come home from school and putting on the video tape of Ayrton".

"And being that it is the most hard season of my career racing these great guys [Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas] and Kimi [Raikkonen], and having us so close, it pushes us all to the limit, it relies on us to be flawless".

"But in Q3 when it came to go to getting those last hundreds and thousands of a second, when I was pushing harder, the auto became more unstable again, not so easy to predict, so I struggled more with the vehicle today than Lewis did". It was a great lap, a sexy lap!

"We always expected Mercedes to be very quick, especially in the last segment", Mr. Vettel added.

"I expect a close race".

"I was not so happy with my job in the last run of Q3", he said.

"My final lap worked perfectly - I could see my delta picking up and getting excited, but at the time I had no comprehension about the 65th - I forgot that, it was the here and now".

"Our family is very happy with his achievements and I'm sure Ayrton would be in Montreal to deliver this special gift, absolutely happy in seeing his record being equalled by a driver as talented as Lewis is".

"We have the pace [to win tomorrow]", Vettel said. "I think it was the colour of the helmet".

When asked if equalling Schumacher would mean as much, he said: I haven't got there so I can not really say.I can not really look that far ahead I have to be grateful and appreciate this moment. "It was a close battle with Ferrari, they were so quick - they've been quick all year".

  • Julie Sanders