|Hamilton said taking pole reminded him of his first Grand Prix win [GALLO/GETTY]
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton timed his final run to perfection to snatch pole position for the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday and halt Red Bull's domination of qualifying this season.
With barely seconds to spare and hardly any fuel left in his car's tank, the Briton roared around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in a slick one minute 15.105 seconds to claim his third straight pole in Montreal and shatter Red Bull's hopes of an eighth consecutive pole this year.
Australia's Mark Webber, the championship leader who had started at the front of the grid in the three previous races, had to settle for second place while his German team mate Sebastian Vettel was third.
Spain's Fernando Alonso was fourth for Ferrari with Hamilton's team mate and reigning world champion Jenson Button fifth after just sneaking into the final stage of qualifying with a blistering last lap in the second session.
"It's been a great day, it's a bit overwhelming really. When the guys told me I'd got pole, it reminded me of my first win and first pole here in 2007," said Hamilton of his 18th career pole.
Despite winning the last race in Turkey earlier this month, Hamilton said he would still need some luck to hold off the flying Red Bulls in Sunday's race after gambling on his choice of tyres.
While the two Red Bulls went for a harder compound, Hamilton opted for a softer tyre which has shown worrying signsof rapidly deteriorating on the Montreal street circuit.
"We know the option tyre is not the best but you might see a different type of race here," Hamilton said.
"There is always a chance of a safety car and who knows the track might improve and the option tyre might be the best one."
Both Red Bull drivers said they preferred their strategy.
"It is a long race tomorrow," Webber said. "And we think it is something that will be beneficial to us."