Nico Rosberg admitted to "pushing like hell" on his way to fifth on the grid for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix, as the young German registered his best qualifying performance of an increasingly impressive sophomore season in the top flight.

The Williams ace was on the pace throughout, and ending up a mere seven tenths shy of Fernando Alonso's pole time was a superb showing, and the second-highest qualifying position of his grand prix career behind his third place in Malaysia last year.

"I couldn't really predict where we would end up today," the 21-year-old admitted, "so qualifying fifth was fine. I was pushing like hell out there, particularly because I had some damage to my rear suspension in the first few laps of Q2. It was really important that I recorded such a good time on my first run even if the track wasn't at its best, and this got me through to the third session.

"Starting grid position is everything in Monaco, so we did well in the most important task so far this weekend. I reckon our chances for tomorrow's race are very good. We would be happy to finish where we are starting from - fifth place would be good, but it would be great to do better."

Team-mate Alex Wurz - something of a Monaco specialist himself after his legendary duel with Michael Schumacher back in 1998 - did not quite make it through into the final knock-out phase of qualifying, but will nevertheless line up 11th to give Williams its best chance of the season so far to get both cars home in the points.

"Today's outcome all came down to my last run in Q2," the Austrian explained. "I slid a bit wide in turn one and I guess that cost me making it through to Q3 and a place in the top ten. There is not much more to add, so tomorrow I will see if it is possible to score some points, which some drivers have certainly managed in the past. To do this here will be hard, but it's a long race so let's wait and see."



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