Lewis Hamilton: “I enjoyed the battle with Nico”

Lewis Hamilton was forced to settle for second on the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Saturday but admitted he enjoyed the battle for top spot with team-mate Nico Rosberg.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver was disappointed to see the battle for supremacy ended prematurely when Daniil Kvyat crashed his Red Bull at the hairpin, but is looking to make a good start on race day to try and get ahead of his main championship rival.

“The car feels perfect this weekend,” revealed Hamilton. “My engineers did a fantastic job and I enjoyed the battle with Nico. He did a great job and it was exciting today.

“This is a track where you’re constantly fighting to gain more and more; the last lap started so well and I was up by turn seven but the red flag came out in the end. It was a big crash but fortunately Daniil walked away.

“Tomorrow is going to be hard; it depends on the conditions. The start will be crucial as you can’t follow closely here and it will be hard to pass but I will give it my best shot.”