Lewis Hamilton says that his charge to Formula 1 pole position in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix on Saturday proves Mercedes can take the fight to pace-setters Ferrari, although he still expects a challenging race in Montreal.

Hamilton stormed to his sixth pole position in Canada with a stunning final qualifying lap that put him three-tenths of a second clear of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who currently leads the drivers' championship by 25 points.

Ferrari and Mercedes have been evenly-matched for pace throughout the early part of the season, but Hamilton is confident that the Italian marque is faster and more adaptable to different circuits.

"We are having a car that is not working everywhere," Hamilton said. "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 utilizing every engineer to the absolute max and utilizing everyone's abilities, which is key."

Hamilton and team boss Toto Wolff have previously spoken about the improved atmosphere at Mercedes in 2017, and the three-time world champion thinks this has boosted its on-track displays.

"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," Hamilton said.

"It's going to continue to be a tough, tough, tough race between the Ferraris because they are so strong, and today we've shown we can have an answer if we do the right things."

 

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