Championship leader Nico Rosberg edged out Mercedes team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton by 0.013seconds to claim pole for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.
Rosberg was quicker than Hamilton throughout Saturday's first two qualifying sessions, but saw the Briton initially post the quickest time in Q3.
However, Rosberg, who leads the drivers' standings by 23 points following Hamilton's dramatic retirement in Malaysia last time out, just about held the edge when the duo completed their final laps.
A time of one minute and 30.647 seconds was enough for the German to take pole at Suzuka for the third year in succession. In 2014 and 2015, it was Hamilton who went on to win the race.