I have to admit that Lewis Hamilton really pulled a rabbit out of the hat today in qualifying for the Japanese grand prix at Fuji.

He really was on the edge of qualifying really badly, not even making it through the first section of the session, but thankfully for him (and those of us who want to see a battle royale between him and Alonso) he managed one more lap which was good enough to put him through. In the final session, it looked like Alonso had the measure of the young Englishman as he was always a small margin ahead throughout, however one final amazing lap stuck Hamilton’s McLaren on pole.

This means a lot as Hamilton really can’t afford to allow Alonso to finish ahead of him in this race. Alonso has been slowly but surely eating into Hamilton’s lead and he has to stop the tide soon if he is to cling on and claim the championship in his rookie season.

The ontrack side of things today was all positive from Hamilton, however I was very disappointed with his offtrack antics.

Fernando Alonso has been painted as the villain of the piece in the media lately, whether that’s fair or not only those within McLaren will really know for sure. If this were the case though, I would expect him to be coming out all guns blazing in an attempt at gaining the psychological advantage over his inexperienced teammate and title adversary. However, ITV’s programme today featured interviews with both McLaren drivers and it was actually Hamilton who cranked up the war of words and not Alonso as might be expected.

I couldn’t believe it to be honest. Ron Dennis seems intent on putting all the bad times his team has suffered lately, and Alonso’s stance of saying very little on the subject would be more in keeping with that, rather than Hamilton’s efforts to turn the McLaren team (and the watching world in general) against his Spanish teammate.

He claims that Alonso hasn’t been playing for the whole team and that he cannot be trusted to do his best for them, whereas Hamilton will do anything for the team that has nurtured him for so long. This may be the case, but personally I don’t think he did himself any favours in stating that publically. But I may be wrong, there may be millions who were watching, and are now ardent Alonso-haters, I was more inclined to go the opposite way though.

As for his post-qualifying press conference, it was pretty cringeworthy and did nothing whatsoever to dispell a common belief that Hamilton is a little too big for his boots.

The start tomorrow is going to be very interesting indeed, and I can’t wait! The last time the McLaren duo were side by side on the grid, there were fireworks afterwards as Hamilton accused Alonso of driving unfairly and trying to run him off the road. He reckoned that driving style was out of order, so it will be interesting to see whether he gives Alonso plenty of room off the start tomorrow, or whether it’s a case of “do as I say and not as I do.”

Personally I can’t wait - the start may be the best part of the race yet again, so let’s hope it’s a good one!