Davide Valsecchi produced a sublime performance to take a commanding win in the GP2 feature race in Bahrain. The DAMS driver converted pole position into the lead from the start and simply drove away from the field.
When his teammate Felipe Nasr was taken out by the Addax entry of Johnny Cecotto Jr., the safety car was deployed and Valsecchi's 12-second lead was eliminated. But the Italian made a fantastic restart and set about building up another huge lead with a series of laps his rivals simply could not match. He duly claimed his fourth GP2 win.
It was a thrilling battle for second, which was eventually won by current points leader Luis Razia. The Arden driver had to work hard for the spot, putting a great move on the Lotus entry of James Calado along the way.
Lotus had vaulted Calado up the order with an early stop, but the tactic failed to pay as for the final half-dozen laps he came under increasing pressure from the squabbling pack behind him. Max Chilton (Carlin) nipped by to claim third, before Calado's teammate Esteban Gutierrez breezed past.
Chilton and Gutierrez fought all the way to the finish, with Gutierrez taking the place on the final lap with a great move. Calado fended off Rapax driver Tom Dillmann for fourth, the pair shadowed by the Racing Engineering car of Fabio Leimer, who was set for a potential podium finish before being hobbled by a slow pit stop.
There was a big gap from the top seven back to eighth, which was taken by Coloni's Fabio Onidi, who will start Sunday's sprint race from pole.
Rio Haryanto took ninth in the second Carlin car for his first GP2 points, while series returnee Brendon Hartley grabbed the final point for Ocean in 10th.
Results - 32 laps:
Pos Driver Team Gap
1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS
2. Luiz Razia Arden + 7.7s
3. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus + 13.5s
4. Max Chilton Carlin + 14.0s
5. James Calado Lotus + 16.2s
6. Tom Dillmann Rapax + 16.5s
7. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering + 17.2s
8. Fabio Onidi Coloni + 28.1s
9. Rio Haryanto Carlin + 32.8s
10. Brendon Hartley Ocean + 36.0s
11. Stephane Richelmi Trident + 37.3s
12. Julian Leal Trident + 38.6s
13. Marcus Ericsson iSport + 40.6s
14. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus + 41.0s
15. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham + 44.0s
16. Simon Trummer Arden + 44.5s
17. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax + 47.7s
18. Giancarlo Serenelli Lazarus + 52.4s
Dani Clos Addax 30 laps
Nigel Melker Ocean 30 laps
Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 29 laps
Johnny Cecotto Addax 16 laps
Felipe Nasr DAMS 16 laps
Giedo van der Garde Caterham 16 laps
Stefano Coletti Coloni 2 laps
Jolyon Palmer iSport 0 laps