Davide Valsecchi set the pace in free practice ahead of qualifying for the second race weekend of the GP2 Series season at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain.
Valsecchi, who somersaulted out of the sprint race at the previous event at Sepang, lapped his DAMS machine in 1m41.417s. His time was 0.671sec faster than Max Chilton's Carlin machine, which lapped in 1m42.088s.
In hot conditions, it was reigning British Formula 3 champion Felipe Nasr who set the early pace, a couple of tenths ahead of DAMS teammate Valsecchi. Addax's Johnny Cecotto Jr. then hit the front before Valsecchi set his never-to-be-beaten lap, which was eight tenths clear of the opposition at the time.
Cecotto ended the session third on 1m42.294s, ahead of Nasr's fourth-placed 1m42.320s. Points leader Luiz Razia (Arden) was fifth fastest at 1m42.390s, but after setting his time he wandered into the path of a flat-out Nasr – immediately waving to apologize for almost causing a high-speed accident. The stewards will no doubt want a word with him after the session; Nasr was furious.
Fabio Leimer was sixth quickest for Racing Engineering, ahead of Lotus duo Esteban Gutierrez – who had a number of off-track adventures – and Sepang sprint race winner James Calado.
Series returnee Dani Clos, who replaces Josef Kral at Addax this weekend, was ninth fastest, 1.5sec off the pace.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1m41.417s
2. Max Chilton Carlin 1m42.088s + 0.671s
3. Johnny Cecotto Addax 1m42.294s + 0.877s
4. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1m42.320s + 0.903s
5. Luiz Razia Arden 1m42.390s + 0.973s
6. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m42.411s + 0.994s
7. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus 1m42.649s + 1.232s
8. James Calado Lotus 1m42.853s + 1.436s
9. Dani Clos Addax 1m42.918s + 1.501s
10. Fabio Onidi Coloni 1m42.963s + 1.546s
11. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m43.047s + 1.630s
12. Julian Leal Trident 1m43.082s + 1.665s
13. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1m43.139s + 1.722s
14. Stefano Coletti Coloni 1m43.235s + 1.818s
15. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1m43.289s + 1.872s
16. Simon Trummer Arden 1m43.377s + 1.960s
17. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m43.470s + 2.053s
18. Stephane Richelmi Trident 1m43.485s + 2.068s
19. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus 1m43.532s + 2.115s
20. Jolyon Palmer iSport 1m43.542s + 2.125s
21. Ricardo Gonzalez Caterham 1m43.726s + 2.309s
22. Brendon Hartley Ocean 1m43.754s + 2.337s
23. Nigel Melker Ocean 1m43.974s + 2.557s
24. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1m44.112s + 2.685s
25. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1m44.137s + 2.720s
26. Giancarlo Serenelli Lazarus 1m44.697s + 3.280s