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Nico Rosberg edged Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position by less than a tenth of a second in the Japanese GP quailfying round .
Rosberg leads the World Championship by 23 points, and despite having a slender advantage over Hamilton at the weekend, the Finnish driver had to produce a precise finish to emerge fastest of the bunch.
Mercedes calculated the difference in lap time between their two teammates to be worth 82 centimetres of the Suzuka circuit.
Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari beat Red Bull to second with a time of 1m 30.949s, although Sebastian Vettel will be replaced in fourth by Max Verstappen due to a grid penalty following his clash with Rosberg in Malaysia.
Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso finished with disappointing results, Button eliminated in Q1 finishing 17th, while Alonso missed the cut when he finished two places ahead in 15th.
Japanese GP Qualifying
1 Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
6. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull
7. Sergio Perez, Force India
8. Romain Grosjean, Haas
9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India
10. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas
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