Mercedes Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes crashed into the barriers during the third practice session of the Formula One Japanese Grand PrixReuters

Mercedes look to be on their way to another dominant weekend in Formula One, after both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton led the way in the three practice sessions at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Rosberg are in an exciting race for the drivers' championship title, with the former leading his Mercedes teammate by three points following his superlative win in the Singapore GP.

Rosberg was forced to retire in that race due to a technical problem, and the German will certainly look to make amends at Suzuka.

"My long run was very good this afternoon, so I'm quite confident for a good race here," said Rosberg to Formula One's official website after the practice sessions on Friday, where he came in first in the opening session, before trailing his teammate in the second.

"There is still a lot of work to do to find the perfect balance for this great old school track. It was a real pleasure to drive this fantastic track here today. Also the atmosphere is great, lots of fans are here already and they are very enthusiastic."

Rosberg topped the timesheets in Practice 3 on Saturday morning in Japan, while Hamilton came in second before crashing late on in the session.

The priority for both the drivers will be to ensure they don't suffer any technical issues on race day Sunday, but before that there will be the small matter of qualifying, with Rosberg and Hamilton, again, expected to go head to head for pole position.

"The gap changes from track to track between us and other cars but it looks pretty good so far this weekend," said Hamilton. "To come here at one of the most demanding tracks for downforce and to be that competitive is fantastic.

"It's amazing what this team has done. The pace looks good but it's a track that's very hard on tyres, especially the rears; one minute you have the one lap pace and one minute you have the long run pace, so it's a very fine line.

"Qualifying is going to be very important as it's quite difficult to overtake here. We don't know what's going to happen with the weather this weekend."

While Hamilton and Rosberg will be under the spotlight on Saturday and Sunday, another man who will receive plenty of attention will be world champion Sebastian Vettel, after the German announced that he will leave Red Bull at the end of the season.

Vettel will want to ensure he makes the most of his now limited time with the team he enjoyed so much success with, and don't be surprised to see the 27-year-old in contention during the race on Sunday.

"Mercedes seem to be very quick around here but I think we can improve, especially on a short run," said Vettel on Friday, before the shock announcement was made a day later. "It would be nice to fight the Mercedes in the race, who knows if it rains, but otherwise we will be against Williams, McLaren, who seem stronger here, and Ferrari."

Where to Watch Live

Get the Qualifying Results HERE

The Qualifying session is scheduled for a 2 pm local time (10.30 am IST, 6 am BST, 1 am ET) start with Live coverage in India on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2. Viewers in India and Asia can also watch the qualifying session via live streaming online on Racematelive or

UK viewers can catch the Singapore GP on Sky Sports F1 or via a Live Stream on Sky Sports Online or Sky Go. US viewers watch the race live online or on NBC Sports. Bein Sports will provide live coverage in the Middle East and North Africa while viewers can also catch the race action via live streaming.

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