Fernando Alonso admits he needs to up his pace in qualifying after finishing eighth in Japan and three-tenths behind Felipe Massa.
The double World Champion has not had a great weekend at Suzuka, however, it did appear to be coming right in the first two qualifying segments.
Alonso was up there near the front in both Q1 and Q2 only to fall behind in the final top-ten shoot-out.
Crossing the line with a 1:31.665, he was 0.750s short of pole-sitter Mark Webber and 0.287s slower than Massa, who was P5.
"Nothing," Alonso told Sky Sports F1 when asked what had gone wrong in Q3. "I didn't have a good weekend so far.
"I've been eighth, ninth all weekend and didn't find the pace.
"In qualifying I'm eighth again, so I'm not doing good enough so far and I try to recover some positions tomorrow."
The double World Champion, though, is not giving up a solid points-haul as he looks to help Ferrari keep Mercedes at bay in the Constructors' Championship.
"The top five is maybe something realistic for us. We need to overtake a few cars.
"But we need to also race a little bit thinking in the Constructors' Championship.
"We have Mercedes only one point behind, they are both in front of me so I need to finish at least in front of one of them."
Any reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of 365 Media Group is strictly forbidden.