Nico Rosberg
Rosberg would want to extend the lead over Hamilton in the driver standings Reuters

Race: Japanese Grand Prix

Date: 9 October, Sunday

Time: 6am BST/10:30am IST/1pm SGT

Venue: Suzuka Circuit

TV Channel: Fox Sports 2 will provide live TV coverage of the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix in Singapore.

Live Updates: The race updates will be available on the official site of Formula One


Nico Rosberg took pole position for the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix after setting the pace in the qualifying on Saturday.

The Mercedes driver edged out Lewis Hamilton with the fastest lap of 1:30.647s, which was only 0.013s better than his teammate's timing, in a tightly-contested qualifying race. Rosberg had edged out the Brit in all three practise sessions as well.

Notably, Rosberg had raced to pole positions in the 2014 and 2015 seasons at Suzuka as well but had finished second best in the race losing on both occasions to Hamilton.

After facing a disastrous exit in the last week's Malaysian Grand Prix due to an engine fire, Hamilton fell behind his teammate, who is leading the driver championship with 288 points, by 23 points. The Sepang mishap saw him quit the race, which he had dominated until the 43rd lap.

However, the 31-year-old said he was happy with the qualifying result in Suzuka after all the work that has been put in by his team. He added he was feeling confident of getting the win on Sunday.

"Well, I'm happy with qualifying. It's been a weekend of a lot of work that's gone on, getting the car set-up right and some big changes went into qualifying. Considering that, to be that close I was really happy with it," Hamilton was quoted as saying by Formula One's official website.

"History has shown that you don't have to be on pole to get the win. But Nico did a great job and has done all weekend."

Suzuka does not give enough opportunities to overtake and a good start is vital for the drivers. With the possibility of overnight rain, a wet track on Sunday is likely to make the competition tighter.

Rosberg said he is expecting an interesting challenge and stressed on the importance of starting well to convert the pole to a dominant lead at the Suzuka.

"For sure the start is going to be an important one, definitely tomorrow and we've seen this weekend that it's not been too easy, because it's downhill and the grip somehow has been a bit lower than usual so it's going to be an interesting challenge," the German driver said.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel finished behind the Mercedes drivers in the qualifying. While the former will start from the second row of the grid, the latter will start seventh due to the three-place penalty he received for his collision with Rosberg in Malaysia last week.

However, they have given themselves the edge over Red Bull drivers, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who will start from the third row on Sunday after finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.

The qualifying results will come as a huge boost to Ferrari, who are placed third in the constructor standing with 313 points and trail Red Bull by 43 points. Notably, Ricciardo and Verstappen finished one-two in Malaysia to stay clear of the Italian team.

Force India's Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished at the seventh and ninth place, respectively. Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez impressed on Saturday and will start from the fourth and fifth row on Sunday.

Qualifying results from Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix 2016 at Suzuka Circuit

Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes - 1:30.647s

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes - 1:30.660s

Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari - 1:30.949s

Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari - 1:31. 028s

Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull - 1:31.178s

Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull - 1:31.240s

Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India - 1:31.961s

Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas - 1:31.961s

Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Force India - 1:32.142s

Esteban Gutierrez (Mex) Haas - 1:32.547s