Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton “excited” for Japan battle

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton Japanese Grand Prix

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in second practice ahead of Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix and is now relishing the battle to secure pole position on Saturday.

The 29-year-old British driver came off second best behind his Silver Arrows team-mate and main World Drivers’ Championship rival, Nico Rosberg, at Suzuka on Friday morning, but came back strongly to top the time sheets in P2 on the afternoon.

Hamilton is looking to take that driving into the race qualification on Saturday as he looks to edge out the German for another pole position.

In addition to Rosberg, who was 0.24 seconds behind Hamilton, Williams’ Valtteri Bottas was third fastest and McLaren’s British driver Jenson Button came in fourth in P2 and both will look to keep that going into the weekend.

However, the main battle is sure to be between Hamilton and Rosberg as the Briton holds a three-point lead in the current championship standings with just five races remaining thanks to his win in Singapore last time out, while the German was forced to retire because of a wiring loom failure in the steering column.

Looking ahead to the fight for pole position, Hamilton said on Sky Sports: “I’m excited about it.

“I hope that it’s dry. But I definitely think as a team we have the opportunity to be up front, so it’s good.”

Hamilton is 1.71 to come out on top in qualifying, The Field is 2.14.

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