Sebastian Vettel says a top-five finish in the Italian Grand Prix "would be very good" after qualifying down in eighth place.

Vettel found himself at the back of a closely bunched few cars at the end of Q3, with just 0.122 seconds separating him in P8 in his Red Bull and Kevin Magnussen in P5.

So what went wrong? "Not quick enough, I mean it is difficult to say," he told reporters. "First of all I think it was very close from P5 onwards with the McLarens. A little bit more and I could have been higher up, but overall I think it was what we could do. In the end I am quite happy with the lap, but surely not happy with the result."

Related Articles

"I think it was a tight session," he continued. "Obviously around here we knew that it would be very tight. It is painful when you are at the back of these group of cars, who all did more or less the same lap times. But that is how it is sometimes. Equally at Spa, I was probably at the front and now I am at the back. That is how it is goes."

Despite that though, the four-time Formula 1 world champion is confident the race will be better.

"Tomorrow I believe we can make some progress. A top five would be very good for us. Our race pace should be better than today," he stated, "and I think for tomorrow we should be able to move forward.

"It will be difficult to come up with a completely different strategy because everyone will probably do the same - one stop. But I think it is about keeping your head cool and doing all the small steps, getting everything right and then we have a good chance to move forward.

"We hope for a good start and then a good first lap and go from there. I think the speed is there to move up. But for sure, you have to say, the two Williams' and the two Mercedes' are too quick for us. Not just in qualifying but also in race pace, where as Ferrari and McLaren are about the same."

He also added that he believes Red Bull are improving race by race and getting closer to the front.

"Obviously in the last couple of races, we have had more and more time to try different things and learn different things as well with the car. I think for here we have made another step. So, yeah, I think we are getting better.

"That is obviously the target [too]."