Nico Rosberg praised Mercedes for returning to the front of the grid after both cars qualified in the top three for the Monaco Grand Prix.

14791 - Nico Rosberg hails Mercedes recovery

Rosberg took pole in China with team-mate Michael Schumacher third, and the roles were reversed in Monte Carlo - though Schumacher will start sixth after a grid penalty. The races in between, however, have seen Mercedes unable to challenge for pole or victory, and Rosberg paid tribute to the team for ensuring it was competitive at the front again.

"I am pleased with the result today and especially for what we have shown as a team in the past few weeks," Rosberg said. "We have had a couple of difficult races since the win in China but there has been a lot of hard work to turn it round, and today we were on top as a team which is great to see. Thank you to everybody back at base who has brought us back to the front again."

Rosberg congratulated his team-mate for his performance but admitted he was pleased he would gain from Schumacher's penalty to start second.

"I had a pretty smooth qualifying session, and managed to save two sets of new super soft tyres for the race, but it was just so close out there this afternoon, it's incredible and fantastic for Formula One. Congratulations to Michael, he did a fantastic job. Of course, I am sorry for him that he must take the penalty, but that means I will be on the front row in Monaco. And at a race where overtaking can be so difficult, that's a great place to start."

With Mark Webber inheriting pole and describing the session as "amazing", Rosberg said he didn't know what was happening despite holding provisional pole but felt a slight issue with his car's handling would mean he'd have to improve.

"I wasn't too aware of the situation. I knew I'd done a pretty good time but at the same time I knew that I had to improve on that time for sure to be able to get pole. In general it was a good qualifying for me too, everything went to plan. I didn't optimise my car perfectly in the end - a bit too much understeer - but as such, still front row is a great place to start for tomorrow."