Nico Rosberg said it was a case of mission accomplished in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the Mercedes man secured third on the grid at the Yas Marina circuit.

The German was 'best of the rest' behind Red Bull pair Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in what turned out to be a strong session for Mercedes, who again outqualified Ferrari and Lotus in the race to take second in the constructors' championship.

Rosberg will be joined on the second row of the grid by team-mate Lewis Hamilton despite him spinning out in the closing moments of qualifying.

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"It's great to have another positive Saturday for our team," Rosberg reflected after the session. "Again we are the best of the rest which is our aim for the weekend and starting from P3 and P4 are great positions for us to score lots of points in the Constructors' Championship.

"My last lap in Q3 wasn't great today but there was only a small chance to improve my time anyway. Mark and Seb were just too quick today for me to get on the front row but I'm confident that we can have a good race from here tomorrow."

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff was pleased with the result of the qualifying session but said the team couldn't take it for granted that it would be able to outscore its rivals on race day.

"We can be satisfied with third and fourth places this afternoon," he said. "Ifs, buts and maybes don't count in motorsport so it doesn't really matter whether or not our positions could have been even better.

"We have secured two good starting positions and now we need to have a clean first lap and take our opportunities in the race. It will be a tough race against Lotus in terms of strategy and perhaps even Ferrari. We will be doing all we can to race hard tomorrow and score another good haul of points."