Davide Valsecchi was once again in a class of his own as he wrapped up his third GP2 win in Bahrain in a week.
The DAMS driver ran second initially, as poleman Giedo van der Garde made a good start and held on at the front in his Caterham entry.
The Dutchman stretched the lead to as much as 1.8 seconds, but as soon as tire wear became as issue, Valsecchi homed into view and van der Garde was powerless to fend off the championship leader. In fact van der Garde slipped behind the Racing Engineering car of Fabio Leimer, too. Following the mandatory pit stops, the Swiss even closed in on the yellow and black machine, but a series of fast laps took Valsecchi way out of reach and a hat-trick of Bahrain wins was confirmed.
Van der Garde held on for third, but the main action was behind him. Marcus Ericsson made a storming start to move his iSport car from ninth to fourth, but in the closing stages his tires were shot and he tumbled down the order.
Arden's Luiz Razia was the first to profit, and he just held off the impressive Carlin entry of Tom Chilton for fourth. Chilton's teammate Rio Haryanto produced a charging drive to take sixth, while in the second DAMS car Felipe Nasr was in great form, passing Esteban Gutierrez (Lotus) and Fabrizio Crestani (Lazarus) in one sensational move on his way to seventh.
Ericsson held on for eighth and pole for the sprint race on Saturday, while Tom Dillman (Rapax) and Johnny Cecotto (Addax) took the final points in ninth and 10th.
Results - 32 laps:
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 57m35.088s
2. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering + 7.711s
3. Giedo van der Garde Caterham + 14.824s
4. Luiz Razia Arden + 24.142s
5. Max Chilton Carlin + 24.705s
6. Rio Haryanto Carlin + 40.965s
7. Felipe Nasr DAMS + 45.772s
8. Marcus Ericsson iSport + 50.645s
9. Tom Dillmann Rapax + 52.522s
10. Johnny Cecotto Addax + 55.578s
11. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus + 56.211s
12. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering + 1m06.906s
13. Brendon Hartley Ocean + 1m07.254s
14. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham + 1m09.206s
15. Simon Trummer Arden + 1m15.486s
16. Julian Leal Trident + 1m16.363s
17. James Calado Lotus + 1m20.506s
18. Stephane Richelmi Trident + 1m21.441s
19. Nigel Melker Ocean + 1m29.955s
20. Fabio Onidi Coloni + 1m47.146s
21. Stefano Coletti Coloni + 1 lap
22. Giancarlo Serenelli Lazarus + 1 lap
23. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax + 1 lap
Jolyon Palmer iSport 30 laps
Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus 24 laps
Dani Clos Addax 8 laps