Michael Schumacher reckons he may have made it one place higher up the grid had Lewis Hamilton's error not wrecked the slipstream.
The nature of the Monza circuit allows drivers to get a tow from the car ahead - and added pace - as long as they can get into their slipstream.
And Schumacher, a five-times winner of the Italian GP, was attempting to do just that in Saturday's qualifying with Hamilton ahead of him on the track.
But it all came to naught when the McLaren driver made a mistake at the second chicane, which not only broke the tow but also resulted in Schumacher making an error of his own.
The German finished the session in eighth place, 1.502s behind pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel.
However, he did out-qualify his team-mate Nico Rosberg for only the second time this season and saved a set of option tyres.
"Qualifying today went mostly according to plan. I don't think we could have taken much more; maybe I could have ended up one place higher," said Schumacher.
"I didn't have an ideal fast lap as I tried to use the slipstream from Lewis but then he locked up in the second chicane which made me lock up too.
"However I will be on soft tyres tomorrow which should be better for my race. As our race pace looked quite good yesterday, I was more focusing on the race and trying to use the tyres in the right way.
"For tomorrow, I will try to get a good start and take it from there."
Meanwhile, Rosberg had no complaints with his grid slot, confident that Mercedes GP have made the right choices in light of Sunday's 53-lap grand prix.
"I'm happy with today's qualifying and the compromise that we made to be strong in the race tomorrow. The performance in Q2 shows that the car is working well here, and we saved two sets of options which is good.
"I'm the only driver who took part in Q3 who will be starting on the hard tyre, so it will be interesting and should help me a lot at the start of the race. I think it will be a really good race tomorrow."