McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen is feeling confident ahead of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix after only narrowly missing out on pole.

Kovalainen finished Q3 just 0.076 seconds off Sebastian Vettel's Toro Rosso and is now well placed for the 14th round in the championship, especially as his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, as well as Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen all had sessions to forget.

Indeed Raikkonen and Hamilton both missed out on making it into Q3 and will line up 14th and 15th, while Massa only qualified sixth.

"A really close session; I missed pole by just 0.076 seconds," Heikki noted. "My first attempt in Q3 wasn't perfect and further rain later in the session made it almost impossible to improve.

"On my final run, I gave it everything but there wasn't enough grip to beat Sebastian Vettel. But congratulations to him on his first pole. Nevertheless, second on the grid is still a good basis for tomorrow; our car has shown good pace in both the wet and the dry so I'm feeling confident."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis meanwhile was impressed with Heikki's form and the Finn was right in contention and on the pace throughout the three Q sessions.

"Heikki performed tremendously well this afternoon, and his P2 grid slot is a fully deserved reward," Dennis stated. "He has a very good strategy for tomorrow so let's see what happens now."