Robert Kubica says he expects the German Grand Prix to be tough after qualifying seventh on the grid at Hockenheim.

The Renault man ended the session more than half a second behind sixth-placed Lewis Hamilton which left him wondering what race day will bring.

"I am reasonably happy to be seventh on the grid and I think that, for now, we have to realise that we could not have qualified any higher than this," he said. "My lap could have been better, because I was held up by a Red Bull in the final sector, but I don't think it would have changed my position.

"We have had a couple of issues with the car here and in Silverstone, and I have not felt as confident with it, so we know that it's important to keep working to improve the feeling because that will give us more consistency. As for tomorrow's race, we saw in Silverstone that anything is possible but we need a good start and a good first lap. We hope that our race pace will be strong, too, but we saw today that the gap to the teams in front is pretty big so I'm expecting a tough afternoon."

Team-mate Vitaly Petrov had shown impressive speed during the wet practice sessions but he had to settle for 13th on the grid after admitting he was still lacking experience at getting the most out of his car on a single lap.

"It was another tough qualifying session for me," he said. "The lap times around the top ten were very close and I was still learning how to get the most from the car and the tyres at this track, then trying to put it all together in a single lap. In the end, getting it right is a question of experience, and I know that better results will come when I can bring the pieces together - even though I wasn't far from the top ten today."

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