Championship leader Lewis Hamilton clocked the fastest time in the first practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix to lead a 1-2 finish for Mercedes.

Hamilton had a time of 1 minute, 28.691 seconds, 0.446 seconds ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany prepares for his first practice session at the Suzuka Circuit ahead of the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix in Suzuka, central Japan Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top five in the Friday practice.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany confers with his crew during the first practice session at the Suzuka Circuit ahead of the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix in Suzuka, central Japan Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

With five races to go, Hamilton would move a step closer to a winning a fifth world championship with a win in Suzuka.

Hamilton has won five of the last six Formula One races and three of the last four at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany reacts during the first practice session at the Suzuka Circuit ahead of the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix in Suzuka, central Japan Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

After winning the Russian GP last week, Hamilton leads Vettel by 50 points. Even if Vettel wins all five remaining races, he’s not guaranteed to beat Hamilton.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland steers his car during the first practice session for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi)

Conditions were cloudy at Suzuka with rain forecast for the second practice session later Friday.

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain reacts to a baby during a fan meeting at the Suzuka Circuit ahead of the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix in Suzuka, central Japan, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Source: The Associated Press