SUZUKA, JAPAN - McLaren driver Jenson Button set the fastest time in Friday's practice sessions for the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix.
The Briton clocked a time of 1 minute, 31.901 seconds in the afternoon session at the Suzuka circuit to finish 0.174 seconds ahead of Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was third.
Button must win Sunday's race and hope that Vettel finishes out of the points in order to keep the drivers' championship fight alive.
Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was fourth, followed by Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, Mercedes pair Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, then McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel, who has won nine of 14 races this season, holds a 124-point lead over Button with five races to go and is looking to become the sport's youngest two-title winner.