Lewis Hamilton has equalled Ayrton Senna on 65 pole positions with his pole today for the Canadian Grand Prix, but it was what he received after the session that was the greater reward.
The Senna family awarded Hamilton one of Senna’s race-worn helmets from 1987, Senna’s last season with Lotus before switching to McLaren in 1988, at the top three on-track interview at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. This particular version awarded today is a replica with a real one set to be delivered later this year, per NBCSN’s Will Buxton.
It’s a remarkable gesture and one that nearly brought Hamilton to tears in the moment, justifiably. Both drivers have three Formula 1 World Championships and are now equal on second place of poles, as Hamilton now sits just three behind all-time leader Michael Schumacher on 68.
“I’m shaken. I’m speechless,” Hamilton told NBCSN’s Will Buxton after having a moment to collect his thoughts.
“Ayrton, I know for many of you, he was your favorite driver, and for me is the same. He was the one who inspired me to be where I am today.
“To match him and receive this is the greatest honor. I have to say a big, big thank you so much to the Senna family. And thank you to everyone here. Bless you all.”
Hamilton’s pole is his sixth in Canada, a record there, and he’ll look for his sixth Canadian Grand Prix victory on Sunday (2 p.m. ET, NBC).