Lewis Hamilton believes third in Suzuka qualifying was the best result he could have hoped for given Red Bull's pace and his dramas this weekend.
The McLaren driver crashed early in Friday practice, missed most of the second session while his heavily damaged car was repaired, and then lost out on any more dry running due to yesterday's downpour.
Hamilton then received the further blow of a gearbox change penalty, meaning his third place in qualifying will become eighth on the grid, but despite these problems, he was still the fastest driver outside the dominant Red Bulls this morning.
Asked if his third was the best possible result, Hamilton replied: "I think so considering the speed of the Red Bulls. We knew this weekend they would be competitive and it's not been the best of weekends for us.
"The guys back at the factory are working so hard to bring updates and unfortunately one of them we were not able to work with today, it needs a bit more time, but the guys did a fantastic job to get updates here."
Given the issues so far this weekend, Hamilton said he was relieved to at least be starting no further back than eighth.
"It was difficult for me to come here today, I only had five or six laps on track," he said. "I am happy to come this far at least, I'm starting eighth but hopefully we can have a good race."