Qualifying in second position for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix means that Mercedes' Nico Rosberg will end 2013 with seven front row starts from 19 races - no small achievement in a season that has been increasingly dominant by the unstoppable Sebastian Vettel.

Clinching a spot on the grid alongside Vettel for the season finale in Sao Paulo was hard work given the inclement weather that dominated qualifying and led to a half hour delay in the final Q3 pole shoot-out getting underway, and Rosberg was particularly proud of how the squad had managed the tricky conditions to get the best result possible.

"It was a good day today, everything went to plan," he said. "It's always extremely tough in these conditions because it's just all over the place and you need to make sure you don't get caught out.

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"But the whole team, we all did a good job and perfect strategy also in the end doing those two consecutive laps with the [intermediate tyre], got a good lap together, so happy with that," he said.

Rosberg admitted that there had been no realistic hope of pipping Vettel to the pole position.

"I finished my KERS unfortunately, for the last sector," he explained. "That's just a compromise because of doing two consecutive laps in these wet conditions and so it was to be expected and we chose to do it that way but for sure, that cost some lap time so it was down to that."

That left him six tenths off the pace of Vettel's unbeatable pole position time, and Rosberg admitted that he had been startled by just how much of an edge his compatriot proved to have over the rest of the field on Saturday.

"Surprised about the gap to Sebastian, that's very big," he said. "Definitely would have been difficult, even getting everything perfect to come close to him. That's fine. Optimum we're second place and got that, so it's OK. It's a great place to start tomorrow - front row of the grid."

Like Vettel, Rosberg said that he didn't have much of a preference as to whether Sunday proved to be a wet or dry race.

"I don't mind. Whatever. Whatever is okay,: he said. "It can be dry or wet. Maybe in the wet I have a little bit of a better chance against Sebastian but anyway, it will be tough either way. Maybe a mix will be good for a little bit of an opportunity."