Sebastian Vettel said he deserved more than ninth place on the grid after Ferrari's latest strategic blunder left him a distance off pole-sitting title rival Lewis Hamilton at Suzuka. Vettel clung to the notion that "anything can happen tomorrow" after Ferrari's tyre gamble in Q3 backfired spectacularly.
Vettel and Raikkonen merged for Q3 fitted with intermediate tyres, but the track had dried after a brief shower and the pair scurried back to the pits for slicks, all the while Hamilton set his pole lap with a 1:27.760.
Once the Ferraris were back on-track, the rain returned and errors at the slippery Spoon Curve cost them – particularly Vettel.
Vettel will start the race in eighth thanks to Esteban Ocon picking up a three-place grid penalty for a red-flag infraction in FP3.
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