Lewis Hamilton felt he had room for improvement despite claiming pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix on Saturday.
A fortnight on from securing his first victory of the year in Monaco, reigning world champion Hamilton gave himself the best chance of a fifth triumph in Montreal by pipping Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to top spot on the grid.
The Briton’s first lap in Q3 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve did the trick, a time of one minute and 12.812 seconds proving 0.062 quicker than Rosberg’s best effort as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took third.
Yet Hamilton – on pole in Canada for a fifth time – told Sky Sports F1: “Honestly, it wasn’t a great lap – but I’m not sure l should admit that!”
In the post-qualifying news conference, Hamilton said: “It doesn’t matter how far ahead as long as you’re ahead. Today I didn’t have the pace I had yesterday [in Friday’s practice sessions] but it was enough.
“It was great for the fans to see how close we all were. It’s going to be interesting tomorrow [Sunday] but it’s a great place to start.”
Vettel was only 0.178secs adrift of Hamilton and felt he had missed an opportunity to claim pole.
“As a driver you always feel there is a little bit more,” said the German.
“I was maybe a bit greedy out of turn 10 and not greedy enough out of turn six. I wanted to get below the [one minute and] 13 mark to get near the Mercedes but only just [managed it].”