Lewis Hamilton has set his sights on victory in the Japanese Grand Prix after securing an impressive - and important - fifth pole position of the season at the Fuji Speedway.

Evoking a few of the memories of James Hunt's famous championship win at the circuit over 30 years ago, Hamilton may not be able to take the title this weekend, but pole position in similarly difficult conditions marks an encouraging step forward for the Brit, who has been under pressure from rivals in the latest couple of rounds.

Nonetheless, pressure was something he was able to contend with in the closing stages as he attempted to improve on the provisional pole winning time of McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, Hamilton keeping his final lap tidy and sneaking a seven hundredth of a second advantage.

It was a lap Hamilton was thrilled with, particularly as the trick weather conditions added another element, he claims, to the pressure he was experiencing.

"A very good qualifying for me and also the team. I really like the Fuji circuit. We looked strong already yesterday during practice when it was dry. Obviously today's wet conditions made it a very challenging session particularly as this morning's free practice had been cancelled - this makes today's result even more satisfying."

Hamilton is now turning his attention to the race where he is bidding for a fourth win of the season. Encouragingly for him - statistically speaking at least - the odds are in Hamilton's favour as all three of his wins so far have come from the top spot.

"The car ran perfectly, and the team has done a great job in making sure we were as prepared as possible. My final lap was quite good. I managed to improve my style in a couple of corners which made a difference but lost a little bit of time in the exit of the last corner. Today's pole position is important, but tomorrow is when it counts."

 

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