SUZUKA, Japan (AP) — Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton can widen his lead when Formula One wraps up its Asian leg at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.
With five races remaining, Hamilton leads Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel by 34 points after finishing second at the Malaysian GP. Vettel, despite starting last on the grid, finished fourth in Sepang.
Hamilton has won twice before in Suzuka, in 2014 and 2015, and was runner-up to former Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in last year’s race.
A win in Suzuka would move Hamilton a step closer to a third F1 title in four years with Mercedes and his fourth overall.
Mercedes was slower than Ferrari and Red Bull for the second straight race in Malaysia after similarly struggling for pace in Singapore.