Lewis Hamilton feels his pole position lap was far from perfect after leaving time on the track but is thrilled to see it be enough to claim his fifth career pole in Canada as he now targets a fifth victory at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The reigning F1 world champion banished any recent memories of underwhelming qualifying performances with an outstanding provisional pole lap on his opening flyer of 1m 12.812s – almost one and a half seconds faster than his pole lap from 12 months ago.
Hamilton failed to improve his time on his second and final hot lap but after team-mate Nico Rosberg suffered a lock-up in sector one on his final lap P1 was effectively assured with the German pitting instead of completing the lap.
The British driver feels he missed out on the opportunity to go even faster and his pole position lap was one of his worst to land a front starting position in his F1 career.
“I think there was definitely more time in it, but it was great to see how close we all were,” Hamilton said. “I think that is great for the fans to see and an amazing turnout on the Saturday here as always and I am glad it stayed dry. It is going to be interesting tomorrow.
“I think there's always room to improve. Honestly that wasn't a great qualifying for me in terms of laps, they weren't that great. My pole lap was definitely at the lower end of the pole laps that I've had so I'm pretty happy that I'm still on pole.”
With the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel ending qualifying less than two-tenths off the pole time Hamilton is wary of the threat he could pose as well as Rosberg and is already relishing a tight and frantic race in Canada.
“Ferrari have picked up the pace with the upgrades they have brought on their car and this is a great track to test their ultimate speed,” he said. “We are excited to have the race with them. I think it will be exciting for the fans.
"I think there long runs looked strong and I don't know if it was a lot stronger than ours. But we shall see tomorrow.”