McLaren-Mercedes #2 Heikki Kovalainen has blamed Bridgestone prime tyres for his failure to finish higher than sixth in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the thirteenth round in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship.

Kovalainen had been in a bullish mood after qualifying fourth, and while he was again beaten by his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, who took pole position, once the post-qualifying F1 car weights were revealed, it was clear he was on a different strategy.

Indeed with 30 kg more fuel, many believed the Finn had a good shot of taking his first win of the season - and he himself thought that was a 'realistic target'.

So what went wrong?

Well initially he had a bad start, dropping behind the Brawn Grand Prix cars of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button, before losing another position to Vitantonio Liuzzi's Force India.

Then on lap four he reported a lack of grip from his prime tyres and was passed for P7 by Renault's Fernando Alonso.

While he pitted on lap 28 and switched to the 'option', by then it was too late and he was too far back to challenge even for a podium. He eventually took sixth, just behind Alonso, bumped up a place on the final lap after Hamilton crashed out in the sister MP4-24.

"I'm rather disappointed," said Kovalainen, who really needed a good result to help cement his place with the team in 2010.

"My race began with a difficult start and that cost me several places on the first lap. Then I couldn't really push hard in the first stint because my prime tyres didn't have the grip to allow me to attack.

"Things were better in the second stint on the options, but, by then, it was too late to regain the time I'd lost in the first stint."