Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton will know pole position is essential on Saturday to give himself the best chance of winning the Japanese GPReuters

With Lewis Hamilton feeling fate, and a few more other factors, are against him, the defending world champion will wonder if taking pole in qualifying of the Japanese Grand Prix will be enough to earn him a win in the race on Sunday. While those doubts will remain as we head into the racing weekend, all Hamilton can do is make sure he puts himself in the best position possible to reduce Nico Rosberg's drivers' championship lead.

To do that a pole position will help, but it is Rosberg who has set the pace in the practice sessions, suggesting the Mercedes man will be the driver to beat in qualifying.

Hamilton is not too far behind and the Brit will hope he has a flawless Saturday and Sunday, something that hasn't come along as often as he would have liked.

"It's been a really good day with no problems on the car which is great," Hamilton said after the two practice sessions on Friday. "We managed to get plenty of laps in but there's still some work to be done overnight in order to find more pace.

"That's a work in progress and hopefully we'll be going into Sunday in good shape. It's great to be here in Japan and I'm excited to get out on track again for qualifying."

Rosberg is the man of the moment right now, winning most of the races, while seeing that lead of his grow considerably. With the business end of the season approaching, Rosberg will know another couple more wins and he could well be on his way to his first title. A pole on Saturday followed by a start to finish win will be a good start.

"It's been a case of finding my way," Rosberg said. "It looks like we're ahead of the Ferraris but it remains to be seen as to where we are compared to the Red Bulls."

Where to Watch Live

The qualifying session is scheduled for a 3pm local time (11.30am IST, 7am BST, 2am ET) start.

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India Star Sports 4, Star Sports Select HD2
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United Kingdom Sky Sports
Middle East and North Africa Bein Sports Arabia
Australia Network Ten
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France Canal+
Asia Fox Sports
Country Online links
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