Heikki Kovalainen had to make his way back to the pit lane under his own steam at the end of Q1, after a spin at turn 10 left him stuck in a gravel trap during qualifying for the 2012 F1 Grand Prix of India at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.

"I had a bit of traffic that held me up and then on my second run I caught up with a bunch of cars going into turn 10 and lost a bit of grip," he explained of the incident at the end of the 20-minute first part of qualifying. "Enough to put me off. I wasn't going in too hard and there weren't any issues with the car, I just lost the front end.

Despite that late embarrassment, the Finn qualified in 20th position and insisted that it had "been a pretty good weekend so far" overall.

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"The balance has been better than we had in Korea and on my first run in qualifying the car felt okay," he said. "Even with the spin I didn't lose any positions so I think we can still have a good race tomorrow."

After losing his final flying lap attempt, Kovalainen finished almost a quarter of a second behind his Caterham team mate Vitaly Petrov, who will start alongside him from 19th position.

"I'm really happy with where we finished up today," said the Russian. "All weekend the team has done a good job and I've had a balance I've been happy with in every session.

"We made a couple of changes for qualie and the way the car felt and my laptimes showed that we made some progress, so I'm pleased with that," he added. "Now we're looking ahead to tomorrow and to be honest anything could happen."

Pirelli have suggested that the teams might try and make Sunday's race into a one-stop affair, but Petrov said that the team were yet to make a definitive call on how they would approach it.

"Nobody's too sure what tyre strategies will be run, it could be one stop or two," he said. "We'll look at that tonight and I'm pretty sure that if we make the right choice we could have a decent result in the race."