Ferrari's championship leader Sebastian Vettel was fastest in final Canadian Grand Prix practice on Saturday, putting pressure on Mercedes Formula One rival Lewis Hamilton to find some Montreal magic for qualifying.
The silver arrows were quick to declare their prominence in the pack; they locked down the top two spots by two-tenths of a second to the Ferraris.
"I remember coming home from school and putting on video tape of Ayrton so it is really unusual to think that now I'm here and I have that many poles".
Asked about Lewis Hamilton's post-Monaco comments, when the Briton claimed Ferrari has already made its decision, he said: "I don't know how much he knows about other teams, but whatever he thinks is fine for me". I tried to push a bit hard, but then pushed too hard.
Hulkenberg was the last driver to set a competitive time, but when he did with six minutes to go, he got up to 11th.
When asked if equalling Schumacher would mean as much, he said: I haven't got there so I can not really say.I can not really look that far ahead I have to be grateful and appreciate this moment.
Both Mercedes cars struggled to match Ferrari's times on the ultrasoft tyre once again - though they will be encouraged by their supersoft pace - with Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas within a second of Vettel's benchmark on the slower tyre. "Now the race is tomorrow".
Max Verstappen continued his strong weekend by edging teammate Daniel Ricciardo by 0.154s.
Hulkenberg added to Renault team mate Jolyon Palmer's woes by taking his R.S.17 round in 1m 13.493s for sixth place - Palmer was 15th on 1m 14.102s - and as ever, the times were very close in the midfield, 0.786s covering Bottas down to Haas's Romain Grosjean in 14th.
Alonso, who has yet to record a point over the season, managed to grab seventh in practice for McLaren despite failing to get the upgrade to his Honda engine that had been expected.
A puncture for Danill Kvyat cost him a last chance of getting out of the elimination zone while Fernando Alonso managed to jump Carlos Sainz to split the Torro Rosso's. The Sauber driver was unhurt, but the incident brought out the yellow flags denying a number of drivers in the drop zone a final attempt. The Red Bulls were soon to follow suit and put Kevin Magnussen and Marcus Ericsson into the bottom five.