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GP Week : Issue 173
Both Perez and Kobayashi reported good pace on high-fuel runs in practice but were unable to carry that over to the race. Only Perez, who arrived in India with a touch of flu, featured in Q3; he qualified in a respectable eighth but contact with the front-wing of Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso resulted in a puncture, which caused terminal rear-end damage to the Mexican’s car and forced him into retirement on lap 21. And Kobayashi didn’t fare much better; a lack of straight-line speed meant he languished well outside of the points in 14th. Caterham found a good balance on both tyre compounds on Friday. Petrov’s running was curtailed by an engine issue in FP2, but the Russian and his team-mate had their sights set on chasing down the mid-field pack. Petrov ran as high as 15th in the race but lost ground to faster cars towards the end. Kovalainen qualified just behind his team-mate in 20th and beached his CT01 in the gravelat the end of Q1. A KERS issue blighted the Finn’s race and he lost position to Petrov to take the flag in 18th. Ricciardo claimed to have found a decent set-up on Friday but was perhaps wrong to predict a strong weekend; from a lowly grid slot, the Aussie struggled on Primes in the opening stint, but found a better balance on the Options to see off Sauber’s Kobayashi and finish 13th. Vergne was less happy with the way his STR7 was performing and the Frenchman failed to make it out of Q1. His race was all but destroyed when contact with Schumacher’s Mercedes at Turn 1 damaged his front-wing and forced him to make an unscheduled stop – he ended up 15th. Karthikeyan was delighted to be racing in front of his home Indian crowd and seemed reasonably happy with his pace at the end of play on Friday. HRT team- mate, de la Rosa, said there was room for improvement after FP2. From 22nd on the grid, the Spaniard ran a relatively straight-forward race until a brake failure sent him spearing backwards into the barriers at the exit of Turn 4. Karthikeyan was also told to manage his brake temperatures and this, coupled with a damaged front- wing, meant the Indian racer finished 21st. New front wings appeared on the Williams cars in practice and the Grove outfit was particularly pleased with its long-run pace. Senna impressed by going sixth fastest in final practice before Maldonado topped the times in Q1. Senna eventually qualified 13th but his Venezuelan team-mate made it into the top-ten shootout to go ninth. Maldonado was on for points in the race itself but fell to 16th when he sustained a puncture while in a dogfight with Sauber’s Kobayashi. Senna consequently finished as the best Williams, securing a point for tenth after a late overtake on Rosberg. Glock evaluated a revised front-wing for the Marussia team on Friday but the German and his rookie team- mate Pic struggled to find a balance. Glock qualified ahead of both HRTs, but lost ground at Turn 1 and struggled for pace throughout the grand prix to end up 20th. Pic, meanwhile, got an excellent start from the back of the grid. Putting a disappointing qualifying behind him, the Frenchman picked up five places at the first turn, briefly nipping ahead of Caterham’s Petrov and finished as the highest-placed Marussia in 19th. Sauber Caterham Toro Rosso HRT Williams Marussia TEAM-BY-TEAM: INDIAN GRAND PRIX 32 GPWEEK.com // 32 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> INDIA