It could have been better, but it could also have been much worse, that was Felipe Massa's verdict after he qualified sixth in his Ferrari for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Massa was the only one of the main contenders for the 2008 drivers' crown to make it through to the top-ten shoot-out, with current leader, Lewis Hamilton, as well as Robert Kubica and Kimi Raikkonen all caught out in Q2 when the rain intensified - something that means they will line-up a lot further down the order than they are accustomed too.

That puts the Brazilian in a great position to overhaul Hamilton and move ahead in the battle for the drivers' championship.

"It was a very difficult qualifying but, overall, I am reasonably happy. It's true it could have been better, but it could also have been much worse," confirmed the Brazilian. "I am ahead of my main rivals in the fight for the championship and I still have a good grid position therefore.

"Today, especially in Q2, conditions were very critical with aquaplaning at various points and visibility was also poor, especially in traffic and the situation got worse and worse. I still managed to improve my time though and make it through to Q3, which was important.

"Tomorrow I must try and finish as high up the order as possible and get some points. It will be a very, very tough race, but we can rely on a very competitive car."

Raikkonen, who will start 14th, just one spot in front of Hamilton, was gutted with the way qualifying worked out: "There's little to say and I am definitely not happy with this result," stated the Finn. "I was unable to do a time in Q2 when the conditions would still have made it possible and then it was impossible to catch up.

"On that lap, I went off at Ascari where there was a lot of water on the track, which meant I didn't make it through to the next session. Now we must try and make the best of this situation which is definitely not ideal.

"Starting from the seventh row of the grid could be a bit tricky at the start, because the entry to the first chicane is very tight and it is easy to touch other cars. In the dry, the car is working very well but obviously, if it were to rain, it could give some chances to those who are starting further back like me."

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali meanwhile was also less than pleased with the team's result on home turf, although he could console himself with the fact the Scuderia still got pole - albeit thanks to Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso.

"Of course we're not happy. It was a frenetic qualifying, in which random factors in the shape of the rain and traffic, played a key role. However, that was the case for everyone. On the wet we are not competitive at the highest level. Having said that, we must look at this result in the light of the championship and, we can take some consolation from the fact that our main rival is behind us.

"I wish to congratulate Scuderia Toro Rosso and Sebastian Vettel who produced an amazing result, which included putting a Ferrari engine on pole in Monza," he summed-up.