Carlos Sainz believes a small mistake on his final lap cost him a shot at pole in Suzuka, after Max Verstappen failed to improve his lap with car damage.
The Ferrari driver was improving on his final attempt in Q3 going quicker than teammate Charles Leclerc through the first sector, but a mistake at the end of the lap ultimately put him off Verstappen's best by 0.057s.
"It was a very clean lap all the way [up] until the last corner that I picked up quite a bit of wheelspin, I probably used a bit too much credit from my rear tyres in that lap," Sainz told media.
"It's a shame to be half a tenth again from pole you know? It's been so many qualifying [sessions] now, with Max and Charles that we are always within half a tenth.
"The last half a tenths always seems to fall more to the other side. Hopefully towards the end of the season the half a tenth pole is a bit more to my side."
Viewed by others:
Ferrari saved soft tyres for Sainz
Even though the weather forecast has rain on the horizon for the race tomorrow, Ferrari has saved a set of Soft tyres for Sainz to utilise in case they are needed in the dry conditions.
"I think the weather the more is gonna play its part, the rain is going to arrive. We don't know if it's gonna rain about two o'clock, three or four, which is after the race.
"There's plenty of things that could happen tomorrow. There is also a great opportunity to start in P3, we managed to [also] save a set of Softs in case we need it."