Given their team’s dominance through free practice, the battle for pole position was always going to be a two-horse race between the Mercedes rivals. But while Rosberg entered the weekend on the back of three consecutive pole positions, the German was powerless to match his team-mate in Q3 at Monza.
“I think the best explanation is that [Hamilton] did some good laps and that’s it because I had a decent weekend until now and got some good laps in today and it was just not quick enough,” Rosberg said.
[There were] no problems. The problem was that I think [Lewis] had one of his best qualifying in a long time.”
Asked whether he was keen to make up for the DNF he had on his last visit to Monza, Rosberg, who retired with an engine failure 12 months ago, added: “No, that's not in my mind. I am just focussed on Sunday's race.
“It would be awesome for me to get a great result here in Italy because it's a quite special place for me. I feel a little bit Italian myself and it's great to race here.”
Having been raised in Monaco, Rosberg has close Italian friends and is fluent in the language himself.