Lewis Hamilton says his scintillating run to pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix simply makes the achievement of matching Ayrton Senna's qualifying tally even sweeter, not least because it came on a day where Ferrari were considered firm favourites to prevail.

Desperate to bounce back from a dismal weekend in Monaco, where a seventh place finish saw him slip 25 points adrift of Sebastian Vettel in the championship standings, Hamilton came into qualifying facing a task after Ferrari showed strong pace in final practice.

However, Hamilton would come out fighting in qualifying as Mercedes found the W08's elusive sweet spot around the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit to stop the clock at 1m 11.459secs, three tenths up on Vettel.

Bringing him level with his hero Senna having now notched up 65 career pole positions, emotions ran even higher for Hamilton when he was then presented with a race-worn helmet belonging to the late Brazilian legend as a reward for his achievement.

"I am really pleased with that [pole], that and also I've equalled Ayrton in race wins so this had been my focus to... Because as a kid I would come home and I was like one day if I'm really lucky and I get to Formula One, I'd want to emulate Ayrton, so the fact that I have now reached him in that area, I just can't believe it.

"Honestly I can't believe it. I remember coming home from school and putting on the video tape so it is really strange to think that now I'm here and I've had that many poles.

"Being that it is the most difficult season I would say of my career, racing against these two great drivers and Kimi, and having them so close, it really pushes us all to the limit and it relies on us all being perfect. Of course we can't always be perfect but today I was as close as I could get."

"All my poles have been special and unique in their own way. I think being that it is hard to remember them it also feels like the first time and coming across that line, waiting, almost holding my breath, fingers crossed, knowing that Sebastian and Valtteri were still on laps - it was a good lap but you don't want to get your hopes up too much because you'll be disappointed if they better your lap but in the intensity of the moment, and I don't ever remember having as intense a moment, it's special."

Coming into the race seeking a fifth win on Canadian soil, Hamilton says the pole position ins particularly sweet as it comes at a time where Mercedes is still finding it difficult to dial in the W08 at every venue.

"It's a great car but it's a trickier car to set up. It appears from the outside that the Ferrari generally is easier - whilst they're still working hard - it works everywhere, so it seems. If they're the same level and we're more up and down all the time, for sure it puts a lot of emphasis on us just pulling together more than ever.

"So I think as a team we've been closer and more united than we've ever been. We've been utilising every engineer to the absolute max and utilizing everyone's abilities, which is key. In the five years I've been with this team I've never seen such great teamwork and communication, we're all just talking more than ever and it's great today to be able to see the fruits of that hard work and it's not just chat for nothing."