Formula One teams usually bring upgrades to races but Ferrari opted for a 'downgrade' at the U.S. Grand Prix and it turned out to be a winner.
Kimi Raikkonen has set a record for most races between wins - 113 races dating back to victory with Lotus in Australia in March 2013.
Lewis Hamilton, on 346 points, has a lead of 70 over his Sebastian Vettel with a total of 75 remaining to be won from the last three races.
Lewis Hamilton drove his Mercedes to his 81st career pole position with a blistering track-record lap of 1 minute, 32.237 seconds at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday. Vettel was just .061 seconds behind.
Lewis Hamilton had already dominated both rainswept practice sessions when the German's penalty was confirmed by race stewards.
Sebastian Vettel is 67 points behind Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton, who can instead become a five-time champion in Texas on Sunday.
Force India have yet to name their other driver but there is no doubt it will be Canadian Lance Stroll, whose billionaire father Lawrence heads a consortium that now controls the Silverstone-based outfit.
Juan Manuel Fangio Fangio was, until Michael Schumacher won seven titles, the man with the most and the 1950s champion remains revered as possibly the greatest driver of all time.
Lewis Hamilton will move to within two of Schumacher's all-time mark of seven championships if he scores eight points more than his Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel in Austin on Sunday.
Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of joining the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio as a quintuple champion, with only seven times titleholder Michael Schumacher ahead of them in the all-time lists.
Mick Schumacher has secured eight wins in 12 races including five in a row with the Mercedes-powered Prema team.
George Russell will join Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris in a trio of British Formula One drivers next season after former champions Williams announced on Friday they had signed the youngster on a multi-year deal.
With a planned start in May 2019, the series will offer a prize fund of $1.5 million and free entry for 18-20 competitors.
Lewis Hamilton has defended Sebastian Vettel after the Ferrari driver's title hopes effectively ended in Japan at the weekend.
Now 67 points ahead of closest rival Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton could wrap up the title at the next race in Austin, Texas.
Sebastian Vettel started eighth after a failed tyre gamble in qualifying, dropped to 19th after the incident before fighting back to sixth and 67 points behind winner and rival Lewis Hamilton.
Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton's closest rival, finished only sixth after an early collision with Max Verstappen left the German fighting back from 19th place.
Ferrari, expecting rain, sent Sebastian Vettel and team mate Kimi Raikkonen out on the intermediate tyres at the start of the final shootout phase of qualifying.
Lewis Hamilton, in dominant form all weekend at the Suzuka circuit, pumped in a one minute 27.760 second lap on the super-soft tyres while it was still only just spitting with rain.
Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes made it one-two at the top of the grid with Max Verstappen third for Red Bull. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen qualified fourth.