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Summary

  1. Hamilton takes pole
  2. Vettel starts 2nd following Bottas penalty
  3. Grosjean crashes heavily
  4. Alonso set for 35-place grid penalty
  5. Get involved #bbcf1

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton on pole position, his title rival Sebastian Vettel alongside him knowing a slip up tomorrow and his hopes of winning the championship could be as good as over.

    Tomorrow is all set to be epic.

    Race starts at 06:00 BST, we'll be building up from 04:30. Grab a big mug of coffee and join us.

    See you then.

    .
  2. Post update

    Almost time for us to wrap things up but if you have just popped in to see what's going on, check out Andrew Benson's report on qualifying here.

  3. Post update

    This is a first for Lewis Hamilton.

    He has never been on pole position at Suzka but has won two of the last three races at the circuit.

    Win tomorrow, and is the title race as good as over?

    .
  4. Get involved #bbcf1

    Phil Slocombe: Whatever the team found in car performance, Lewis and Valtteri have complemented with driving skill.

    Niv: This shows that Suzuka is a Mercedes track. Hopefully, Ferrari's race pace is much better than quali pace.

  5. 'Reasonably happy'

    Sebastian Vettel, who qualified third but will move up to second because of Valtteri Bottas' penalty: "I'm reasonably happy.

    "I tried everything on the last lap - would have loved to be a bit quicker."

  6. 'A difficult weekend'

    Valtteri Bottas, who qualified second but has a five-place grid penalty to serve tomorrow: "It's been a difficult weekend but my driving has been getting better."

  7. 'Incredible'

    .

    Lewis Hamilton, who secured the 71st pole position of his career: "Incredible. It's been a really good day. Every lap was fantastic. I never did great in qualifying here. To finally get the balance here, thanks to the great work of my engineers, I finally went out on track and did a time. The car is crazy here. I was running out of opportunities so had to make it stick."

  8. Qualifying top 10

    1) Hamilton

    2) Bottas

    3) Vettel

    4) Ricciardo

    5) Verstappen

    6) Raikkonen

    7) Ocon

    8) Perez

    9) Massa

    10) Alonso

  9. Post update

    Mark Gallagher

    BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

    Lewis Hamilton, what a superb pole position. Valtteri Bottas did react under the pressure and not a bad margin to Hamilton.

    Disappointment for Sebastian Vettel not being on the front row. You look at the Red Bull, they are a full second slower and goes to show the variance in performance between Malaysia last week and here.

  10. Post update

    Stunning. Simply stunning by Lewis Hamilton. Nothing anyone else could do about that. When he is on it, he's on it.

    Valtteri Bottas qualifies second while Sebastian Vettel is third.

  11. Chequered flag

    Lewis Hamilton secures pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix.

  12. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton goes even quicker!

    It's a 1:27.319 and surely pole position.

    Was it ever in doubt?

  13. Post update

    Valtteri Bottas improves but his time is three tenths slower than Lewis Hamilton's first run...

  14. Get involved #bbcf1

    Reece Young: Lewis Hamilton is at his stunning best today

    Niv: Ever since he got his new contract, Valtteri Bottas has underperformed.

    Josh Earl: Another track record for Lewis! I can't see anyone other than Lewis who can better it!

  15. Post update

    Mark Gallagher

    BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

    The gap between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas is a country mile in F1 terms. The upset of the accident in final practice cannot have helped but once again he is slower than Hamilton by a margin that will cause him and the team a little concern.

    Relief for Sebastian Vettel that this performance will secure him a front row seat, which I think will be the best he can hope for.

  16. Post update

    Fernando Alonso heads out for the first time in Q3 before Esteban Ocon and Lewis Hamilton begin their second runs.

  17. Top 10 as it stands

    1) Hamilton 1:27.345

    2) Vettel +0.462

    3) Bottas +0.641

    4) Ricciardo +1.099

    5) Verstappen

    6) Ocon

    7) Perez

    8) Massa

    No time: Raikkonen, Alonso