• Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Mercedes should have troubled Red Bull for pole - Rosberg

ESPN Staff
September 7, 2013 « Massa insists Ferrari plan worked | Raikkonen 11th on pure pace »
Nico Rosberg qualified sixth at Monza © Sutton Images
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Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes were second only to Red Bull this weekend at the Italian Grand Prix and blamed his hydraulics problem in final practice for not qualifying higher up the grid.

Rosberg qualified sixth at Monza while team-mate Lewis Hamilton failed to make the cut for Q3 as both Mercedes drivers struggled to fulfil the car's potential. Rosberg lost out on crucial set-up time in final practice after a hydraulics issue and said he was struggling with understeer throughout the session as a result.

"The car is quick here," he said. "Red Bull are probably quicker than us, even on one lap, but I think it would have been possible to qualify right behind them. I don't know how much it [the hydraulics issue] cost me, but what I can say is that I wasn't happy with the balance and I really like to take the time before qualifying to get everything perfect. I was working during qualifying to try to optimise things and it's just not the place to do it. Trying things during qualifying means I just didn't get it right set-up wise."

However, Rosberg believes the car will be more competitive on Sunday even with the limited changes the team can make ahead of the race.

"Friday running was okay, I was happy with the balance then, so I'm more confident I can do better tomorrow," he added. "It's not going to be easy with two cars in front. Having the balance right in the race is not as sensitive and you want to have a bit of understeer, which is what I had in qualifying. I'm quite confident I can get it right for tomorrow."