Lewis Hamilton eschewed a slew of possible excuses to admit that he was no match for Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Briton had set the pace on day one of the Suzuka event, and claimed top spot in the opening phase of qualifying, but could not match Rosberg when it mattered as the German claimed pole position by just under two-tenths of a second.

Hamilton had crashed during the morning's final practice, badly damaging the left front corner of his Mercedes against the turn one tyre wall, but refused to point the finger of blame at either the hasty rebuild or a couple of driving mistakes as excuses for not beating his team-mate.

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"I had a vibration throughout the whole run, and don't know if it was [related to] the incident - maybe it was just a tyre imbalance," Hamilton reported, "Whatever, it didn't get in the way of the result. Similarly I don't think I lost any time with [a lock-up at the hairpin]. I just wasn't quick enough today!"

Thanking his crew for giving him the chance to take part in qualifying, Hamilton conceded that he had not been on top of his game, but expected to be better when racing gets underway on Sunday.

"Nico was extremely quick today," he confessed, "I did the best I could and my guys did a fantastic job after I binned [the car], but I wasn't really feeling it!

"I don't know why - we were still fast, but Nico was fantastically fast today. However, tomorrow is the day where you get the points and I'm looking forward to all the tricky weather that perhaps will come."

While Red Bull claim to have set its cars up for the impending storm of Typhoon Phanfone, Hamilton insisted that Mercedes had focused solely on qualifying, figuring grid position would be more important for what was to come.