Sauber now have just five races to save their 2014 season from disaster. There were a few encouraging signs in Singapore, particularly Esteban Gutierrez's solid display, but the team will ultimately go nowhere if they can't get a car to the chequered flag.
No one enjoys seeing an F1 stalwart disappear into obscurity, but that is a real risk in Sauber's case. They'll be desperate for improved fortunes at Suzuka.
Esteban Gutierrez: Grid 14th. Finish DNF. Rating 7/10
Gutierrez put in one of his strongest drives of the season in Singapore and looked capable of stealing a few points. With that in mind you can understand his intense frustration at being sidelined by an electrical fault at just a quarter distance. The normally-mild-mannered Mexican hurled his gloves away once out of the car, venting his anger at both the race and his season as a whole.
Gutierrez had qualified a solid 14th and ran well in the race's early stages, climbing into the top-10. Given the chaos that ensued in the latter stages, it is possible that he could have been there at the chequered flag, too.
But the aforementioned electrical gremlin sidelined him after 17 laps, ending what was perhaps his best race of 2014. The pressure is mounting on both him and his team-mate to save Sauber's season.
Adrian Sutil: Grid 17th. Finish DNF. Rating 5/10
Sutil's campaign goes from bad to worse. Eliminated in Q1, his race was a tale of anonymity until he clumsily moved over on Sergio Perez's Force India, removing the Mexican's front win and causing a safety car in the process.
He eventually dropped out, to little fanfare, after 40 laps. Even if he had continued running, it is unlikely he'd have been anywhere near troubling the top-10.
With his team heading for disaster and his own performances increasingly lacklustre, Sutil's future in the sport looks rather bleak.