Nico Rosberg is hopeful a decision to qualifying on the hard tyres will pay dividends at Monza.
Rosberg was the only runner in Q3 who decided not to use the option tyres, and while that left him down in ninth and ahead of only Bruno Senna, who opted to sit out Q3 altogether, he was still only one place behind his Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher. Rosberg will now go into the F1 2011 Italian Grand Prix with two new sets of options at his disposal and he is confident that could work to his advantage.
“I'm happy with today's qualifying and the compromise that we made to be strong in the race tomorrow,” Rosberg said. “The performance in Q2 shows that the car is working well here, and we saved two sets of options which is good.
“I'm the only driver who took part in Q3 who will be starting on the hard tyre, so it will be interesting and should help me a lot at the start of the race. I think it will be a really good race tomorrow.”
Schumacher meanwhile may have used the soft tyre, but he only did a single lap, to keep as much life in them as possible. He will line-up in P8.
“Qualifying today went mostly according to plan,” said Schumacher. “I don't think we could have taken much more; maybe I could have ended up one place higher. I didn't have an ideal fast lap as I tried to use the slip stream from Lewis [Hamilton] but then he locked up in the second chicane which made me lock up too. However I will be on soft tyres tomorrow which should be better for my race.
“As our race pace looked quite good yesterday, I was more focusing on the race and trying to use the tyres in the right way. For tomorrow, I will try to get a good start and take it from there."
“Tyre management will be crucial in the race, and we were very mindful with both cars that we must start the race on the same tyres as we qualified on,” summarised team principal, Ross Brawn.
“For Nico, we opted for a prudent approach by running the hard tyre which could open up a nice opportunity for him tomorrow and it will be very interesting to see how he progresses.
“Michael decided to use the soft tyre in Q3, but only completed a single lap to preserve them for the race.
“Both drivers have fresh sets for the race - two sets of softs for Nico, and one for Michael - so we will see how this afternoon's tactical decisions play out. I think there will be plenty of action.”