Championship leader Nico Rosberg says his problems in final practice did not prevent him from challenging for pole and that he actually had a "good feeling" with his car in qualifying for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

Rosberg missed FP3 this morning due to a gearbox problem and while he was quite comfortably beaten by team-mate Lewis Hamilton in Q3 - the eventual gap three tenths of a second - he didn't blame that margin on a lack of track time.

"To be honest, straight on the first run in qualifying, I had a good feeling and the car was better than yesterday in many areas. We adapted the set-up overnight and worked on it, so actually I got straight into it," he explained. "I was happy about that feeling. I was expecting it to be a little bit more complicated. But that was good definitely. So from that point of view, qualifying was okay."

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He also insisted that being second was still positive and was full of praise for Mercedes: "Second place is definitely still a good position for tomorrow. It is a long race, everything can happen. We just need to now work towards the race and try and get a good start and then have a good race," he continued.

"But anyway it is also, definitely the team again, is so great. Even on a track, like Monza, where it is such a different track to all of the others and even coming here, still we are still dominant and that is great to see.

"Of course it is only qualifying. The race still remains to be seen. But it is really awesome. The team is doing a fantastic job."

Rosberg did concede, however, that the reliability is a worry: "It is an area that we need to keep working on for sure - also medium term to make sure the car is working 100 per cent all the time. It is a challenge, it is difficult. But we are getting there. I am still very confident for tomorrow."

As for how he will approach the race, he reiterated that there is no change, despite what happened in Belgium, when he collided with Hamilton on the second lap.

"The message is that we are keeping on racing. That is the message, that is the way it is - and then every situation is different."

"It has not changed. Already before, when we started the season, the message has been clear. So there is no real change at the moment. So from that point of view it is the same as always."

Finally, when it was put to him will he go for the win on Sunday or think more about the championship, he replied: "Monza is special place for me because I really like Italy. All of my friends are Italian and so it is great to race here. It is great also in front of the tifosi - and they give me a lot of support, which is great. I really enjoy that and I am very thankful for that. At the moment I am out to win. It doesn't matter where we are. I am not thinking about the end of the season yet or anything like that. It is really every race, just try and get the best out of it and try and win."