Lewis Hamilton admits it was a "shame" they didn't get to finish their final laps at Suzuka as he "felt pretty good".
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday after he edged his Mercedes team-mate Hamilton by just 0.076s. However, most of the drivers had just one run in Q3 as the session was ended by a red flag following a heavy crash by Daniil Kvyat from Red Bull.
It meant Rosberg's time of 1:32.584 was enough to earn him pole and, although Hamilton believes the German has been on form all weekend, he feels he was on a good run before the session was brought to a premature end.
"The first lap I lost a bit of time in Turn 11 and in the last corner. Nico's doing very well this weekend. I definitely felt pretty good on that last lap, but I'm glad Kvyat is well," he said.
He later added in the post-qualifying press conference: "My engineers did a fantastic job working hard to get the set-up in a nice place. It was exciting, qualifying was exciting. I was enjoying the battle with Nico. It was a shame we didn’t get to finish the last lap."
Mercedes are coming off a disappointing Singapore Grand Prix where they failed to finish on the podium, but Hamilton says it feels like things have returned to normal.
"Well, the guys are working incredibly hard to try and understand last weekend," he said. "It’s definitely great to be back up here and it’s very strange, obviously, to see some of the pace of different people behind but definitely the car feels like normal this weekend, which is great to see."