Japan GP: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to pole

    Lewis Hamilton (left) trails Nico Rosberg by 23 points with five races remaining.

    Story highlights

    • Rosberg on pole for Japan Grand Prix
    • Team-mate Hamilton second on grid
    • Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen third

    (CNN)He is the Formula One world champion but Lewis Hamilton is under increasing pressure to defend his crown after title rival Nico Rosberg clinched pole for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

    Championship leader Rosberg pipped his Mercedes team-mate by 0.013 seconds late in qualifying as he looks to cement a 23-point advantage over the Briton in the overall driver standings.