Suzuka (Japan), Oct 5 (IANS) Britain's Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) on Friday led the second practice session at the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, while Germany's Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) was third.
After winning the Russian GP last week, Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel by 50 points.
Hamilton went on to clock a fastest time of one minute, 28.691 seconds before the Briton produced a sizzling lap of 1:28.217 to top the timesheets in the afternoon, nearly half-a-second quicker than team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton was even faster on the "soft" tyre, the middle compound this weekend, than Vettel was on the fastest "super-soft".
Hamilton was fastest in both practice sessions on Friday, with Bottas in P2.
Meanwhile, Red Bull's Max Verstappen went fourth fastest in the afternoon, more than a second off Hamilton's time with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen fifth.
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".
"Our auto worked really well but it is hard to know how much we have improved or they have stood still, or they have gone backwards".
Senator Susan Collins backs Brett Kavanaugh, paving way for confirmation
Her vote is disappointing enough, but her speech was a giant middle finger to all survivors of sexual assault . Senators are expected to vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court starting around 5 p.m.
Unemployment rate drops to 3.7 percent - lowest since 1969
If those concerns mount, the Fed might raise interest rates more quickly than planned, which could bring the recovery to an end. The annual rise in wages fell to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent in August, which was the biggest advance in more than nine years.
Chicago police officer convicted in 2014 fatal shooting of teen
A Chicago jury has found police officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of murder for the fatal 2014 shooting of a black teenager. What Van Dyke saw "was a black boy walking down the street. having the audacity to ignore the police", McMahon said.
Hamilton said: "Suzuka has to be one of my favourite circuits, if not the favourite one - it's very cool".
"I was pretty happy - I think it was pretty good". "I think we know what the auto can do". "My dad's having tennis lessons so I said to him we should have a game".
"No interruptions, no issue with the vehicle or anything, so now we have to try to obviously squeeze out everything that is left in the auto for tomorrow".
While it is too early for Hamilton's seemingly inevitable championship coronation to take place in Japan on Sunday evening, only a meltdown by team or driver stand in the way of glory this season. "We're expecting some rain overnight and the wind looks strong tomorrow which could make things tricky for the drivers in qualifying".
"Maybe the next couple of tracks are better suited for us, we will know when we get there", said Vettel.
"When you get in the auto it's just the best, it's so much fun and I'm truly grateful to have the opportunity I have".
"It has been a clean Friday", insisted Vettel, despite complaining of blistering tyres. "In the race I think it was very close and I think it has been very close all year".
"It's also going to be a lot warmer in the race, so that will be different, but at least we got enough running already in dry conditions, so it doesn't matter if it's wet tomorrow".