LIVE: Japanese Grand Prix

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Follow live coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix from Suzuka with F1i's live text commentary.

One year ago, the front row for the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix had been locked out by Mercedes. Although Lewis Hamilton had by this point of the season taken the lead of the drivers championship, it was Nico Rosberg who had managed to clinch pole position at Suzuka - only for him to falter in the inclement conditions of the race and end up finishing the grand prix in second behind Hamilton.

Fast forward 12 months and what do we have in 2015? Pretty much exactly the same situation, it turns out. Hamilton is once more ahead in the points, but he again finds himself starting from second place. Rosberg succeeded in narrowly pipping him for pole position after the Mercedes pair brushed aside their brief slump in form last week at Singapore. Behind them on the second row will be the threat of early challenges from Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel, while the third row also consists of a Williams/Ferrari line-up in the form of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen.

The starting line-up could well have been very different if qualifying hadn't finished prematurely following a massive crash for Daniil Kvyat, who went off into the gravel at turn 10 and then got tipped over into a roll by contact with the tyre barriers. That accident immediately brought out the red flags which meant no one was able to complete their last flying laps. If they had, then maybe Hamilton would have succeeded in stealing pole from his team mate, because he only needed to make up a 0.076s deficit to Rosberg's pole time.

Unfortunately for the Briton it was not to be. Then again, maybe that's for the best for Hamilton: the pole sitter hasn't won here since Vettel managed it in 2012, and in total only 12 of 26 races have been won from pole at Suzuka. Maybe Rosberg will be regretting that qualifying triumph in a couple of hours' time?

By far the best news from qualifying is that Kvyat was left totally uninjured by his big accident at the end of Q3, although the same can't be said for the Red Bull. The team has had a long night rebuilding the car which has needed a complete rebuild with a new driver safety cell, engine, turbocharger, MGU-H, MGU-K and gearbox. As a result, he'll have to start from pit lane when the lights go out for the start of today's race while his team mate Daniel Ricciardo will be starting much nearer the front in seventh place alongside Romain Grosjean. Lotus could certainly do with some good news this weekend to offset their mounting financial problems.

As well as Kvyat at the back, watch out for two more drivers starting today's race out of position. Force India's Nico Hulkenberg lines up in 13th after serving a three-place penalty for causing a collision with Felipe Massa in Singapore last weekend, while Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen starts from 17th after being penalised three grid places for stopping his car in a potentially dangerous place at the end of Q1.

So - ready to go racing? It seems that pretty much anything could happen today: but whatever transpires, let's hope for a safe grand prix, as thoughts of Jules Bianchi's accident here one year ago won't be far from anyone's minds.

You can follow all the live coverage on F1i's live page, which can be bookmarked as it will provide commentary on every session of the 2015 F1 season.

LIVE: Japanese Grand Prix

REPORT: Rosberg takes pole after huge Kvyat crash

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