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WATCH LIVE: Japanese Grand Prix on NBCSN, Live Extra from 12:30am ET

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Nico Rosberg may have struggled to match Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in recent weeks, but the German driver made a breakthrough in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday as he captured his second pole position of the season.

In a Q3 session that was red flagged following Daniil Kvyat’s hefty accident, Rosberg’s first lap proved to be enough for pole as he edged out Hamilton by less than one-tenth of a second.

Mercedes arrived in Japan with some questions to answer after it lagged behind both Ferrari and Red Bull in Singapore, but has duly done so by returning to the head of the field at Suzuka.

With Rosberg on pole and Hamilton alongside him on the front row, the stage is set for a great fight between the two Mercedes drivers on Sunday as their championship fight continues.

You can watch the Japanese Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 12:30am ET on Sunday. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Hamilton currently leads the championship by 41 points from Rosberg, with retirement in Singapore allowing the German to cut the gap slightly. However, it very much remains the Briton’s championship to lose.

Interestingly, Hamilton has only one victory at Suzuka during his F1 career, and admitted on Saturday after missing out on pole that it is a circuit that he has never felt truly comfortable at.

One man who does boast a good track record at Suzuka is Sebastian Vettel, who is a four-time winner of the Japanese Grand Prix. Fresh from his win in Singapore, Vettel will be gunning to keep up his 100% podium record at the track from P4 on the grid, as another victory appears to be out of reach.

With a number of battles set to play out up and down the field, make sure you join us for all of the action from Suzuka as the title race continues.

You can watch the Japanese Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 12:30am ET on Sunday. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.