Fernando Alonso has stated he is expecting a close qualifying battle as he aims to keep his run of Q3 appearances going this season.
The two-time World Champion is yet to fail to reach the final segment of qualifying in what has been a strong debut campaign with Aston Martin.
However, the Silverstone-based squad’s performance has dipped in recent races after an extraordinarily strong start saw it bag multiple podiums at the beginning of the year.
Alonso ended the second practice session ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix in sixth place and reflected positively on his day’s work.
“We’ve just jumped out of the car, so I have no idea of all of the data that we collected today,” he said.
“We’ll study it and hopefully [for qualifying], we can be competitive.
“It felt good, it feels nice always when you come to Suzuka, there’s always a nice feeling around this track.
“Formula 1 is made for this type of circuit, so it was pure joy to drive today. Let’s see if we are fast as well.”
When asked if Q3 is the aim for the qualifying session later in the weekend, Alonso said: “Let’s see, we’ve been in Q3 so far every single race.
“That will be the target, to keep going on that streak. It’s going to be tight.”