Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne once again failed to make it through the first phase of qualifying in India, joining the 'usual suspects' in the bottom seven.
Vergne languished below the cut-off for most of the opening session, although in the end he was only just edged out, finishing just 0.008 seconds off Kamui Kobayashi, who was narrowly ahead in P17 in his Sauber.
Vitaly Petrov meanwhile was best of the Caterhams, albeit 1.231 seconds off Vergne. Heikki Kovalainen trailed his team-mate, only the fifth time this year he has been beaten, and he also spun off and beached his car at the close of Q1. Timo Glock took 21st for Marussia, ahead of the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan. Charles Pic was slowest, but well inside the 107 percent.
At the other end of the timesheets, Pastor Maldonado went quickest right at close of Q1, posting a 1 minute 26.048 second lap in his Williams and demoting Sebastian Vettel to second.
Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean filled positions 3 through to 10. Felipe Massa suffered another spin, but easily made it through to Q2 in his Ferrari, as the Scuderia continued to try and gain precious tenths of a second by slip streaming.