A disappointing qualifying session for Mercedes AMG Petronas saw Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton qualify in sixth and 12th places respectively this afternoon for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Nico qualified P6 on the third row and was less than a tenth and a half from claiming P3, recovering from losing this morning's practice session owing to an hydraulic problem.
Lewis qualified P12 after his second run in Q2 was disrupted by traffic, particularly at the end of his timed lap. This was reflected by his lap time of 1:24.803 on option tyres, slower than his best of 1:24.589 on primes in Q1
Nico Rosberg, F1 W04 / 03, 6th: "Starting from sixth place is not where we want to be, however considering that I didn't get any running in the final practice session this morning because of an hydraulics problem, it's not too bad. I had to take our set-up from yesterday and I just didn't feel comfortable in the car throughout qualifying, particularly with a lot of understeer. For tomorrow, I hope the set-up will work out better as I had a good long run on Friday. There's also the chance of rain and we know that our car is very quick in the wet, so we can still hope for a good race."
Lewis Hamilton, F1 W04 / 04, 12th: "I just didn't get a lap together in Q2 today and it's hugely disappointing, not just for me, but also for the team and I can only apologise to them as we had a quick car today. Qualifying has always been a real strong point for me but it really didn't come together this afternoon. Q1 was fine but I didn't do a good enough job in Q2. I came off at Parabolica on my first run which damaged the car and it was a downward spiral from there really. We will see what we can do from here tomorrow. I'll be pushing like hell to get a decent finish but there are a lot of quick cars ahead."
Ross Brawn, Team principal: "Unfortunately, that was our worst qualifying session of the year. With the standards we set ourselves, that makes this result a real disappointment. However, Nico recovered well after losing almost the entire morning practice session with an hydraulic problem. The consequence of that sort of problem is that he missed the opportunity to fine-tune the balance of the car, which was not fully to his liking in qualifying. On Lewis' side of the garage, we simply couldn't get a clear timed lap on the two critical runs and that left him outside the top ten, in spite of showing decent pace on the hard tyres in Q1. Looking to tomorrow, it will be a tough race for us if it stays dry. However there is some rain in the forecast. Let's hope it comes!"
Toto Wolff, Executive director (business): "That was definitely not the qualifying result we had been working for. There's no positive spin we can put on the afternoon; it simply reminds us of the price you pay when preparations don't go smoothly. Nico lost the chance to run in final practice this morning, which had a knock-on effect for the qualifying session. With that in mind, it's to his great credit that he is only a tenth of a second from P3 on the grid. Lewis had quite a frantic second part of qualifying and encountered unhelpful traffic at the key moments, which left him in P12 on the grid."