Japanese Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: Hamilton, Leclerc, Verstappen and Bottas go for pole

Lewis Hamilton was happy with Mercedes’ pace on Friday ahead of Japanese Grand Prix qualifying and the race on Sunday.

He said: “It’s pretty amazing driving this track – we got a headwind through the esses in the first sector which has been great.

“It’s been a good day overall, we got through our programme but it’s a work in progress – there’s always time to find at this track, there’s always areas that you can improve.

“Valtteri showed some good pace and it seems we are in a good position at this point of the weekend. This is a track I really enjoy so I can’t wait to get back in the car.

“We’ll be analysing the data tonight and tomorrow to try and put ourselves into a good position for Sunday.”

Sebastian Vettel also thinks Ferrari have some pace but perhaps need to find more to compete with Mercedes.

He explained: “Today, was not too bad, at least it was better than it looked. We are in reasonable shape, but maybe we are lacking a bit of pace overall. Our rivals looked very comfortable right from the start of practice and they confirmed that pace in FP2.

“I think we have a bit of room for improvement as it wasn’t an ideal session, in terms of how we made use of our tyres.

“I’m not sure what I’ll do tomorrow: relax and maybe do some indoor sports.

“On Sunday there will be a big question mark over the state of the track as tomorrow’s wind and rain will have an affect.”

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