"I was just really happy to finish", said Hamilton.
"No, it's never easy", said the four-time champion.
"Forty years after Gilles won his Grand Prix here, I think it's great to show that Ferrari is still alive, still there, winning races".
This weekend is round seven of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship, which takes us to Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, home of the Canadian Grand Prix. He left a heritage, so I think the people who fell in love with motorsport back then are still there, and their kids and grandchildren. "It's great when you have a session like that".
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who clocked the fastest lap at the end, managed to resist a late charge from Hamilton in the closing laps and retain fourth place ahead of the Englishman who extended his record points-scoring run to 32 races.
Sebastian Vettel has hit back at the description of the Canadian GP being boring and warned F1's "short-sighted" critics that some of the matches in football's upcoming World Cup won't be classics either.
Canadian model Winnie Harlow blamed race officials for telling her the wrong time to wave the flag.
Kimi Raikkonen had also been looking fast, but he lost his chance to join his team mate on the front row when he got sideways in turn 2 on his final flying lap of the day.
Daniel Ricciardo in the pre-race parade
The semi-permanent track combines long straights with tight chicanes and each team sets up their vehicle to maximize straight line speed, although the cars also need to deliver a good ride over the relatively tall curbs. Hamilton, who came into the weekend leading the championship standings, came in fifth.
Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes was second followed by the Red Bulls' Max Verstappen and Daniel Riciardo, the victor two weeks ago in Monaco. He and Ferrari executed their race to perfection, took the lead in the title race and have left Hamilton and Mercedes with much to consider before racing resumes in France in a fortnight.
"We knew that, in general, we're lacking power, so we just try to compensate with that", said Verstappen.
Verstappen's podium was his second of the year, and it eases some of the pressure he has felt with a series of mistakes that cost him and the Red Bull team in Azerbaijan and Monaco.
"With the long straights it's hard to fight for pole position". "I was a lot happier with the auto and I think we can carry that into the race".
"We got pole today for a reason", said Vettel.
Verstappen topped the times in all three free practice sessions and was very impressive in qualifying, clearly having replaced his confrontational mood with a clear sense of determination to succeed.