Brendon Hartley's impressive performance in qualifying at Suzuka was as good as it got for the Toro Rosso driver who failed to capitalise on his advantageous starting position.
Launching his race from sixth, just ahead of team mate Pierre Gasly, Hartley was swallowed by the latter and several cars on the rush down to Turn 1 and thereafter as a result of too much wheelspin off the line.
"I had really poor traction off the line, huge wheelspin," explained the Kiwi.
“I don’t feel like I did too much wrong, but I just couldn’t get the power down. It didn’t feel like my procedure was too bad on the start so I need to check on that one.
- Extended first stint wreaked havoc on Gasly's race
Overheated tyres meant Hartley just couldn't hold his own, let alone recover.
"They’re so sensitive that this really affected my entire first stint. I got them back into range and at the end of the stint the lap times started to be a bit more competitive and I could’ve stayed out a bit longer.
Hartley's level of performance improved slightly when he switched to a set of soft tyres, but traffic hampered any chances of making progress.
"On the second set I found myself in traffic, I made a couple of overtakes on both of the Williams but in the end I got stuck behind Marcus [Ericsson].
"It's a real shame that both cars are outside the points after such a promising result in qualifying yesterday."