One week following the second round of the 2012 GP2 Series season, the thirteen teams remained in Bahrain for a standalone round 3. Max Chilton
set the fastest laptime of free practice this morning in 1:42.136, three tenths quicker than Series leader Davide Valsecchi
. Rival Luiz Razia
ended up in P3.
Both Scuderia Coloni
cars were the first ones onto feed the track as the session opened in high temperatures at the Bahrain International Circuit. It was a quiet first fifteen minutes with only nine cars on track. Both Lotus
GP drivers chose to do only one installation lap and sit out for the remainder of the session.
Giedo van der Garde
set the early pace, but his laptime was soon improved by seven tenths by Chilton. His Carlin teammate Rio Haryanto
moved up to P2, but remained six tenths behind the Brit. By mid-session, Valsecchi moved up to P3 ahead of Haryanto, van der Garde, Felipe Nasr
and Marcus Ericsson
With ten minutes left on the clock, Jolyon Palmer
stopped on track at Turn 10. The session was shortly red flagged. At the re-start, there were five minutes to go which was enough time for Razia to put his head down and take P2, but Valsecchi found some extra pace to edge out his rival.
At the chequered flag, Chilton remained P1 ahead of Valsecchi, Razia, Haryanto, van der Garde, Fabio Leimer
, Nasr, Ericsson, Brendon Hartley
and Fabrizio Crestani.