Renault number one driver Robert Kubica could only qualify ninth today for this Sunday's F1 2010 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Kubica, who finished on the podium two weeks ago in Belgium, was disappointed to find himself just two hundredths off the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in seventh. However he is hopeful he will be able to bounce back in the race and add yet more points to his tally.

"We knew that the best we could hope for today in a normal qualifying session was P7 on the grid, but the battle was very tight with Mercedes and Williams. I managed to set a good time in Q2 and get through with just one run, so I saved a set of option tyres for the final session," Kubica said.

"On my first run, I was two tenths up on my best when I took the decision to pit, so that I would have time to do two timed laps on my final run and hopefully improve even more. But unfortunately, I wasn't able to repeat my time - and I ended up two hundredths away from seventh.

"It's not ideal, because the cars around us are very competitive on top speeds, but we know that it will be a long afternoon for everybody, so I hope we can make the most of any opportunities that come our way."

Renault team principal, Eric Boullier meanwhile was also frustrated, although he admitted they didn't expect to repeat what they had managed in Belgium: "It's clearly a bit of a disappointment," he added, "but we knew this circuit wouldn't suit us as well as the last one, but we also clearly had the potential to do better in Q3 with Robert.

"Unfortunately, there is a big gap between our two cars, and both are behind each Mercedes, so it's clearly not the most promising of positions to start from. But we are still looking forward to a good race, with strong, aggressive first laps and the right strategy, to at least finish in front of Mercedes."

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