Nico Rosberg took his eighth pole position of the season and third straight at Suzuka after out-qualifying teammate Lewis Hamilton by 0.013s but is yet to win a race at the iconic Japanese venue. The last two seasons have seen the German take pole only for Hamilton to take victory from second place on the grid on both occasions. He will be hoping to put that record straight this time around and extend his championship lead, which sits at 23-points at the moment.
Kimi Raikkonen was the closest to the Silver Arrows cars and took third place out-qualifying teammate Sebastian Vettel, who came in fourth. The four-time world champ, however, will take a three-place grid penalty owing to his first lap collision at the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend.
Max Verstappen, who qualified fifth ahead of his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, will join Raikkonen on the second row for the race, with Sergio Perez moving up a place with Vettel starting in seventh place alongside Romain Grosjean on row four.
The McLaren-Honda team struggled despite coming to their constructors' home race with upgraded power units. Jenson Button was knocked out in Q1, while Fernando Alonso succumbed in the following session, with both cars struggling for pace.
The weather conditions could play a role in the outcome of the race on Sunday (9 October) with rain expected at some point during the course of the Grand Prix, which could make it exciting for the fans and the drivers. However, most eyes will be on the start with both Mercedes cars set to resume their title battle.
Where to watch live
The race starts at 6am BST (Sunday) with Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD providing live TV coverage. Real-time internet updates are available on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website.
Top 10 results of qualifying session from the Suzuka International circuit, Japan:
|5||MAX VERSTAPPEN||RED BULL RACING||1:31.178|
|6||DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING||1:31.240|
|7||SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA||1:31.961|
|9||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA||1:32.142|