Lewis Hamilton believes that he still has a fighting chance of getting a good result in the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday despite a disastrous qualifying session, which left the Englishman way down the order.

Hamilton, who eventually finished Q1 just a few tenths behind pace setter and team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, opted to begin Q2 on Bridgestone's intermediate tyres and that decision proved critical.

Indeed it meant he missed the window when the best times were being set on the more extremely-cut rubber and while he still had a small chance to improve, he simply couldn't find the time, spinning at Ascari as he tried to make the cut and break into the top ten.

Speaking after qualifying in 15th place though, the McLaren-Mercedes man was philosophical about the situation.

"It was a joint decision to go out on wet-weather tyres at the start of Q2 - partly mine and partly my engineers," he explained. "We thought it was the right way to go at the time because it was getting dryer but the grip-level was poor so I came in and switched to extremes.

"By the time I got out, it had begun to rain and I just missed the window when the track was at its fastest; it was also very hard to pick out the braking points. It's the first time this has happened to me in Formula 1, so I can't really complain.

"Tomorrow is another day and we still have a fighting chance to make our way up the grid. I'll be doing the best job I can."

McLaren-Mercedes team principal Ron Dennis meanwhile is also hopeful that things will be different in the grand prix itself.

"The weather conditions made things difficult for everyone, not only us, and in addition to that we were caught out by a less-than-fully accurate weather forecast. As things turned out, there was only a narrow window of opportunity in which to cut a quick lap, and things didn't fall kindly for Lewis," Dennis observed.

"But the weather may be unsettled tomorrow, too, and if so he should still be in a position to score a good result even though he'll be starting from a lowlier grid position than he would ideally have preferred."

Mercedes boss Norbert Haug however was far less diplomatic: "This is exactly what should not have happened to Lewis," he chipped in, "but we have to accept it after so many great qualifying results we had. Tomorrow is another day and we will fight and be focused to do a better job and this time with both cars."

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