Brendon Hartley grabs career best qualifying position, will start sixth on grid at today's Japanese GP

Kiwi Brendon Hartley will have his best shot at a Formula 1 podium finish, after qualifying in a career best sixth position for tonight's Japanese Grand Prix.

In a rain affected qualifying session yesterday afternoon, Hartley completed his best lap time in 1:30.023, seeing him sit sixth overall on the starting grid, one place ahead of Toro Rosso teammate, Pierre Gasly.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole, with a best time of 1:27.760.

Hartley's previous best qualifying position was in eighth place, coming at the Hungarian Grand Prix in July.

"Definitely we have a big thank you to say to Honda," Hartley said.

"To deliver in front of all the Honda and Japanese fans was pretty special.

"I know it's only half the job, but I'm sure we made a lot of people happy today with that performance."

Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley of New Zealand sits in his car during the first practice session at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, Friday, March 23, 2018. The first race of the 2018 seasons is on Sunday. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)
Brendon Hartley. Source: Associated Press

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