Rosberg fastest in practice for Japanese GP
SUZUKA, Japan (AP) Nico Rosberg edged his Mercedes teammate and Formula One title rival Lewis Hamilton and set the fastest time in Friday's practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Rosberg set the quickest lap in both sessions, with his best being 1 minute, 32.250 seconds; just seven hundredths of a second better than that of Hamilton.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was third followed by Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who won four faces at Suzuka between 2009 and 2013, was fifth.
With five races remaining in the season, Rosberg holds a 23-point lead over Hamilton, who suffered an engine failure while leading last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix but is chasing a hat trick of victories in Japan.
Rain is forecast for Saturday's qualifying session