Nico Rosberg took pole ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton on Saturday, and with the latter looking like he might not be in the right frame of mind as we approach the business end of the season, the German will hope to firm his grip further in the race for the drivers' championship title by winning the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.
Rosberg put in a brilliant flying lap right at the end of the qualifying session at Suzuka to pip Hamilton to pole and having been in flawless form all weekend, the smart money will be on the championship leader to bulge his lead further.
"I've been feeling great all weekend, having felt incredibly comfortable in the car," Rosberg, who has dominated the timesheets going into the race, said. "It gave me the confidence to push even harder at the end of Q3, which meant I pulled out a great lap to recover pole from Lewis.
"As we've realised, (pole is) not the most important thing this year as you also need to get the start and the race strategy spot on. Lewis will push hard and so will the Ferraris and the Red Bulls. It's clear that both these teams looked very strong on the high fuel. It will be an exciting race, in front of Suzuka's amazing fans. I'm definitely looking forward to it."
What Hamilton will hope won't happen again is an engine blowout. Having seen a race he would have comfortably won go up in smoke in Malaysia, Hamilton is running out of opportunities to catch up with Rosberg. A reliable car and the right strategy is what the Brit will need to compete against Rosberg in this Japanese GP.
Usually a really confident man, both in his ability and in his car, Hamilton sounded a little unsure of what to expect come Sunday.
"This weekend has not been that easy," Hamilton said. "Of course, starting on pole is always a good thing but let's hope the work we've been doing on the starts pays off. It's also still hard to know at this stage what the weather is going to do but I'll do the best I can."
Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari are in the second row, followed by the Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, with Force India's Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg set to start in seventh and ninth respectively.
Where to Watch Live
The Japanese GP will begin at 2pm local time (10.30am IST, 6am BST, 1am ET). Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India: TV: Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: Sky Sports F1. Live Streaming: Watch Sky Sports.
USA: TV: NBCSN. Live Streaming: NBC Sports Live.
Middle East: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Asia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Fox Sports Online.