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Kovalainen's day blighted by KERS outage

Heikki Kovalainen's solid race day in India was thwarted with KERS issues that forced him to hand over his position to team mate Vitaly Petrov in the closing stages of the Indian GP.
Red Bull's Mark Webber wasn't the only driver to be struggling with his KERS system during the 2012 F1 Grand Prix of India at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida.

Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen had similar issues in the latter third of the race, and had to make way for his team mate Vitaly Petrov and just focus on brining the car home in one piece rather than being able to content for positions.

"I was up to 17th after the first lap and keeping pace with Kobayashi and the pack ahead as we pulled away from the cars behind," said Kovalainen, who enjoyed a good start to the race. "We had planned to do two stops but with the way the car was performing we went long on the first stint and switched to a one stop, boxing just after halfway.

"I had a good stop but about two thirds of the way through the race I had a KERS problem which meant I had to let Vitaly pass," he explained. "From there it was really just a matter of getting my car to the end of the race."

Kovalainen succeeded in making it to the chequered flag, and was relieved when holding on to 18th position ahead of the two Marussia cars an the remaining HRT of Narain Karthikeyan proved to be a relatively straightforward affair.

"Losing KERS obviously didn't help but it was still pretty easy to pull away from the cars behind," he said. "Without that problem I'm sure I'd have finished higher."

Petrov also had a good start to the race: "[I] was pretty quickly up with Heikki and holding pace with him and the cars ahead until the first stops," said the Russian driver. "The pace and degradation levels were both really good on the first set of tyres so we opted to go longer and changed strategy from two to one stops.

"I came out just behind my teammate and then passed him when he had a KERS problem," Petrov added. "After that I was up to 15th but with a few laps to go a couple of quicker cars behind passed me and I finished up 17th."

The cars that got past him included Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Williams' Pastor Maldonado, both drivers seeking to recover from incidents earlier in the race that had forced them into unscheduled visits to pit road.

"Despite that it was a good race," Petrov insisted. "The car felt great all afternoon and everyone's worked really hard all weekend. We have some new parts coming next week in Abu Dhabi so let's see what happens there."

Kovalainen was also keen to set his sights forward to the next race.

"We'll have a few updates on the car and maybe those will help us close the gap to the cars ahead, enough to help us fight for longer on race day," said the Finn.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.10.2012- Free Practice 3, Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Caterham F1 Team CT01
27.10.2012- Free Practice 3, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham F1 Team CT01
27.10.2012- Free Practice 3, Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03 leads Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham F1 Team CT01
27.10.2012- Free Practice 3, Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham F1 Team CT01
(L to R): Carlos Slim Domit (MEX) Businessman; Miguel Angel Mancera (MEX) Mayor of Mexico City; Francisco Maass Pena (MEX) Deputy Minister for Tourism; Alejandro Soberon (MEX) Corporacion Interamericana CEO.
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Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 signs autographs for the fans.
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Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 signs autographs for the fans.
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(L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 with team mate Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1.
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Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1.
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(L to R): Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 with team mate Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1.
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(L to R): Carlos Slim Domit (MEX) Chairman of America Movil with Francisco Maass Pena (MEX) Deputy Minister for Tourism; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Miguel Angel Mancera (MEX) Mayor of Mexico City; Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; Alejandro Soberon (MEX) Corporacion Interamericana CEO.
21.01.2015.  Force India F1 Team Livery Reveal, Soumaya Museum, Mexico City, Mexico.
(L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 with Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1.
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(L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 with team mate Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 and Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner.
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(L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 reveal the 2015 Sahara Force India F1 Team livery.
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Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner.
21.01.2015.
(L to R): Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner with Carlos Slim Domit (MEX) Chairman of America Movil.
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Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1.,
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Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 with fans.
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