With F1 teams increasingly having to put the needs of tyre conservation above on-track competitiveness in qualification, Pirelli has added its voice to those calling for a rethink in the current situation.
The high tyre wear that teams are experiencing at Suzuka - especially on the softer compound tyres - combined with the strictly controlled number of sets of tyres available to teams for the weekend as a whole, meant that several preferred to sit in pit lane and save a set of tyres rather than put in qualifying laps.
Four cars hadn't posted flying laps at all by the end of Q3, and several teams also opted to cut back to only one flying lap during the preceding round 2 even if it meant not making it through to the top ten shootout.
"It was a very fast qualifying and the tyres stood up well to the high-speed demands of Suzuka circuit, with no wear or degradation beyond the usual parameters," insisted Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery.
"However, it now seems to become a trend that some cars qualifying in Q3 do not set a time in order to save tyres, so we will be working with the teams and the FIA to find a solution that is acceptable to everybody to avoid this kind of scenario in the future, as it is not fair on the spectators."
Hembery pointed out that this wasn't the first time that the question had arisen, and that Pirelli had made suggestions for tackling the issue before now but been unable to reach agreement with the FIA and teams.
"We have made a number of proposals in the past, which the teams rejected, but today showed that this remains a problem, which we would like to solve," he said."
Earlier, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali had also been critical of the current state of affairs over tyre management.
"Once again today, as has happened before during this season, we have seen cars - no less than four in Q3 ' give up on doing a flying lap," Domenicali had said. "I think it shows something is not right in the way qualifying is run and we should give it some careful thought for the future, because I don't think it's such a good thing for the spectators."
Meanwhile Pirelli were already looking ahead to the race itself, with concerns that the wear-rate seen on the soft compounds could mean up to five pit stops during the Grand Prix of Japan.
"With quite a significant lap time difference between the soft and the hard tyres, the possibilities for interesting strategies are wide open this weekend," said Hembery. "The trade-off for this extra performance of the soft tyre is the fact that the crossover point, where the medium tyre becomes quicker, might come after only five or six laps. So it's going to be interesting to see what the teams all opt for."