Sports

Rosberg edges Mercedes teammate Hamilton in 1st practice for Japanese GP

  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain speaks during an interview outside his team's garage at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. Hamilton will be aiming to complete a hat trick of wins and extend his narrow Formula One championship lead over teammate Nico Rosberg at Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, a race that has been dominated by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in recent years. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain speaks during an interview outside his team's garage at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. Hamilton will be aiming to complete a hat trick of wins and extend his narrow Formula One championship lead over teammate Nico Rosberg at Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, a race that has been dominated by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in recent years. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany folds his arms at his team's garage at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 ahead of Sunday's Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany folds his arms at his team's garage at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 ahead of Sunday's Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Dutch driver Max Verstappen, 17, poses with a fan in front of Toro Rosso's hospitality suite at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 ahead of Sunday's Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. Verstappen will become the youngest driver to take part in the grand prix when he pilots a Toro Rosso in Friday morning's opening practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Dutch driver Max Verstappen, 17, poses with a fan in front of Toro Rosso's hospitality suite at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 ahead of Sunday's Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. Verstappen will become the youngest driver to take part in the grand prix when he pilots a Toro Rosso in Friday morning's opening practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in Friday's opening practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix, edging out teammate and Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg, who lost his championship lead to Hamilton last time out in Singapore, clocked a lap of 1 minute, 35.461 seconds at the Suzuka circuit, 0.151 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

Hamilton leads Rosberg by three points heading into Sunday's race.

Max Verstappen, who turned 17 on Tuesday, became the youngest driver to take part in a Formula One Grand Prix weekend, finishing twelfth fastest and only four tenths of a second off the pace of teammate Daniil Kvyat.

Fernando Alonso, who is holding talks over his future with Ferrari, was third fastest followed by Williams' Valtteri Bottas.