Lewis Hamilton claims 80th career pole position

Meanwhile, Hamilton was delighted to once again start on pole.

The Mercedes 1-2 lock-out at the front of the grid is made even sweeter by the knowledge that Hamilton's main rival for the world championship will start from ninth position after Ferrari's tyre miscue at the start of Q3.

If you want to watch all the action from the Japanese Grand Prix as Hamilton edges closer to a fifth world title then here's how to tune in online. It is not the first time that these mistakes have occurred.

Daniel Ricciardo carries an image of a Honey Badger on his helmet because he identifies with the animal's strength, ferocity and fearlessness.

He said that lap would have been "sort of OK" without the error.

Hamilton was in total control, but while Mercedes looked to be heading to an easy one-two after the pit stops, his team-mate Valtteri Bottas found himself under pressure from Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Both were forced to abort their runs to take on slicks, meaning their first flying laps came just as rain was on the cusp of falling, and while Raikkonen was able to post a 1m29.521s to secure fourth behind Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, Vettel ran off the track at Spoon Curve after the rear stepped out and posted only a 1m32.192s.

"When you get in the auto it's just the best, it's so much fun and I'm truly grateful to have the opportunity I have".

Force India's Sergio Perez won the battle for best of the rest, from Haas' Romain Grosjean, the second Force India of Esteban Ocon and Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly.

Haas trimmed Renault's advantage in the constructors' championship to 11 points in Russian Federation, but they could nearly erase the deficit altogether with a strong result in Suzuka.

McLaren's tyre bungle: For reasons that the team has yet to explain, both McLaren drivers came to Suzuka with a tyre allocation of just four sets of super-soft tyres, five sets of softs and a massive four sets of mediums.

While the team will focus on how best to respond to the mistake it made in qualifying, Arrivabene has not ruled out the ongoing incidents leading to wider organisational changes over the winter.

On a rainy day in Suzuka, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari made a poor start, spinning at Turn 11. As a result, he ended up qualifying in ninth place.

As pointed out earlier, overtaking is hard at Suzuka and if the two Toro Rossos can get away cleanly then they will have a good chance of a double-points finish.

The rain and sunshine mixed to create a pretty sight in the sky.

It appears to be an advantage given the fact that the soft will last longer into the race and does not suffer as much degradation as the supersoft, but there are always downsides. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1:29.521 5.

Vettel skidded off twice in his desperation to set a time, and his starting position will be his lowest in a season which began so brightly, but looks like ending in bitter disappointment.

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes shows its true class as the best team in Formula 1 when under pressure, as title rival Ferrari made another blunder in Japanese Grand Prix qualifying.

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