Hamil­ton dom­i­nates both prac­tice ses­sions in Ja­pan

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SPORTS -

For­mula One cham­pion Lewis Hamil­ton was com­fort­ably quick­est in both prac­tice ses­sions for the Ja­panese Grand Prix as the Mercedes driver piled the pres­sure on ti­tle ri­val Se­bas­tian Vet­tel of Fer­rari yes­ter­day.

Hamil­ton, fastest ahead of team-mate Valt­teri Bot­tas in first prac­tice, lapped the 5.8-km Suzuka cir­cuit even quicker in the later ses­sion, post­ing one minute, 28.217 sec­onds. That was 0.833 sec­onds quicker than Vet­tel, who im­proved from fifth in the morn­ing to third quick­est in the sec­ond ses­sion.

A lit­tle over half an hour into the 90-minute ses­sion, he had let out a whoop of de­light over the team ra­dio: “This track is awe­some, I’m hav­ing the best day.”

Hamil­ton, win­ner of five of the last six races, leads Vet­tel by 50 points in the stand­ings with four races left af­ter Ja­pan.

Lewis Hamil­ton has a 50-point lead in the stand­ings

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