Rosberg pips Hamilton for pole position in Japan Formula One GP | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 08.10.2016
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Rosberg pips Hamilton for pole position in Japan Formula One GP

The German has clocked the fastest lap in Saturday's qualifying round, beating his Mercedes teammate by just over one-hundredth of a second. The German leads the World Championship by 23 points with five races to go.

Nico Rosberg will start from pole position at Sunday's Japanese Formula One Grand Prix.

The German pipped his Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton, by just over one-hundredth of a second to clock the fastest lap time during Saturday's qualifying round. Hamilton will start alongside Rosberg in second position, while Kimi Raikkonen locked down third place in his Ferrari.

After winning last week's Malaysian GP, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo will start in sixth, behind his teammate Max Verstappen. 

Formel Eins Grand Prix Qualifikation in Japan Vettel (picture-alliance/HOCH ZWEI)

Raikkonen secured third place for Sunday's GP

Rosberg clocked his fastest lap at 1 minute and 30.647 seconds on the 5.8-kilometer (3.6 miles) long Suzuka Circuit, just .013 seconds faster than his teammate and championship rival.

With five races remaining this season, Rosberg enjoys a 23-point lead over Hamilton, after the Brit was forced to retire in Malaysia due to engine failure.

This is the German's 30th career pole position and his eighth this season. However, experience tells Rosberg that there will be no room for complacency on Sunday. The last two years, he has qualified in pole position in Japan, but on both occasions was beaten to the finish line by Hamilton.

The Japanese Grand Prix starts at 5 a.m. UTC on Sunday.

dm/jlw (AP, dpa)