Hamilton fastest in final practice at Japanese GP
SUZUKA, Japan (AP) — Championship leader Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday, leading a 1-2 finish for Mercedes and taking a step closer to securing his fifth Formula One championship.
Mercedes read the weather conditions perfectly, ensuring that both drivers were able to record their best laps early in the third qualifying before the rain increased to secure their fifth consecutive one-two in qualifying at Suzuka.
The timing of Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel’s qualifying run was not as fortunate as he hit a wet patch and spun off the course late in the session qualifying to finish ninth, further damaging his slim chances of catching Hamilton in the championship race.
With five races to go, Hamilton leads Vettel by 50 points in the standings.
It was a disappointing afternoon for Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who couldn’t set a time because of a loss of power.