Nico Rosberg was left to rue a loss of track time in practic after a disappointing run in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Rosberg was only able to set the 18th quickest time in Q1 to fall at the first hurdle, with his poor result being compounded by a five-place grid penalty imposed for a gearbox change after final practice.

That final session had seen Rosberg manage just five laps before his gearbox failed and left him stranded out on the circuit, and he admitted that the lack of dry running had hampered him ahead of the qualifying session.

"This weekend isn't really running to plan so far. Starting from the back of the grid tomorrow is really disappointing, although I had no chance to prepare my car due to the gearbox problem this morning. So it took a bit of a time to find the right set-up in qualifying and it didn't work out well at the end.

"I hope I can gain some positions in the race but I'm not overly optimistic as our car is not one of the quickest on this track. I will definitely push hard."

With Michael Schumacher only 13th on the grid, Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug admitted that the team was hoping for more from race day.

"Michael got everything out of the car that was possible today," he said. "It did not help us that the rain yesterday meant that no preparation for today was possible but of course that applies to everybody.

"On top of that, Nico did not get any running in this morning's only dry session due to a gearbox problem which will give him with a five place grid penalty. This is of course not the start that we have wished for after the summer break. Our target is to do a better job tomorrow."