Kevin Magnussen will be driving at the Circuit of the Americas for the first time.
McLaren has denied it is set to lose more key team figures ahead of the looming Honda era.
Today marks the 25 years since one of the most intense F1 rivalries ever reached an unbelievable climax.
A perfectly executed drive from Jenson Button to fourth place, backed up by a superbly combative run from Kevin Magnussen to fifth place.
Eric Boullier: "Okay, P4 and P6 amount to our best cumulative qualifying performance of the year."
Kevin Magnussen: “It was a pretty decent day for us today, and the car feels good”
Jenson Button: "I’ll just take whatever the weather brings tomorrow.”
Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen drove faultlessly on Friday free practice.
With an average speed of 225km/h (139mph), Suzuka is one of the fastest circuits on the F1 calendar.
Eric Boullier: “Clearly, P9 and P11 is nothing to write home about, and we’re far from satisfied."
A suite of new components was introduced for this weekend.
Two Formula One teams had news to announce on Monday.