Valtteri Bottas and Nigel Melker topped the opening two practice sessions of the 2011 GP3 Series season at Istanbul.

The first session was held in wet and windy conditions, with sophomore Manor driver Rio Haryanto, who won at the Turkish circuit last year, leading the way early on. ART F3 convert Bottas moved to the top spot in the second half of the session.

Rookie Gabriel Chaves took first place from Bottas in the final moments, only for the Finn to snatch it straight back again. Melker went second quickest for Mucke, just ahead of teammate Luciano Bacheta who was making his series debut. Chaves ended up fourth ahead of fellow newcomer James Calado of ART.

The track had dried by the time the GP3 cars returned in the afternoon, when Melker ran at the top of the timesheets for much of the session. Lewis Williamson briefly took top spot for Arden, but the Dutchman returned to the head of the field in the middle of the session.

The pair remained at the top until the checkered flag, with Williamson's teenage teammate Mitch Evans going third. Andrea Caldarelli ended the session fourth for Tech 1 Racing, with Haryanto fifth. The top 22 drivers were covered by a second.

Practice 1 times:

  Driver Team Time Gap
1 Valtteri Bottas Lotus ART 1:52.295  
2 Nigel Melker RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:52.706 0.411
3 Luciano Bacheta RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:52.733 0.438
4 Gabby Chaves Addax Team 1:52.738 0.443
5 Mitch Evans MW Arden 1:52.819 0.524
6 James Calado Lotus ART 1:52.844 0.549
7 Rio Haryanto Marussia Manor Racing 1:52.879 0.584
8 Dean Smith Addax Team 1:52.934 0.639
9 Simon Trummer MW Arden 1:52.971 0.676
10 Andrea Caldarelli Tech1 Racing 1:53.123 0.828
11 Conor Daly Carlin 1:53.167 0.872
12 Dominic Storey Addax Team 1:53.218 0.923
13 Michael Christensen RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:53.256 0.961
14 Nico Muller Jenzer Motorsport 1:53.338 1.043
15 Tom Dillmann Carlin 1:53.368 1.073
16 Matias Laine Marussia Manor Racing 1:53.457 1.162
17 Lewis Wiliamson MW Arden 1:53.491 1.196
18 Antonio Felix Da Costa Status GP 1:53.524 1.229
19 Maxim Zimin Jenzer Motorsport 1:53.649 1.354
20 Ivan Lukashevich Status GP 1:53.676 1.381
21 Tamas Pal Kiss Tech1 Racing 1:53.735 1.440
22 Nick Yelloly Atech CRS GP 1:53.855 1.560
23 Aaro Vainio Tech 1 Racing 1:53.983 1.688
24 Pedro Nunes Lotus ART 1:54.244 1.949
25 Alexander Sims Status GP 1:54.398 2.103
26 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Marussia Manor Racing 1:54.409 2.114
27 Marlon Stockinger Atech CRS GP 1:54.783 2.488
28 Vittorio Ghirelli Jenzer Motorsport 1:55.121 2.826
29 Zoel Amberg Atech CRS GP 1:56.193 3.898
30 Leonardo Corderio Carlin 1:59.026 6.731

Practice 2 times:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Nigel Melker RSC Mucke Motorsport 1.46.151  
2 Lewis Williamson MW Arden 1.46.182 0.031
3 Mitch Evans MW Arden 1.46.205 0.054
4 Andrea Caldarelli Tech 1 Racing 1.46.257 0.106
5 Rio Haryanto Marussia Manor Racing 1.46.355 0.204
6 Michael Christensen RSC Mucke Motorsport 1.46.358 0.207
7 Antonio Felix Da Costa Status Grand Prix 1.46.437 0.286
8 Alexander Sims Status Grand Prix 1.46.469 0.318
9 Valtteri Bottas Lotus ART 1.46.524 0.373
10 Matias Laine Marussia Manor Racing 1.46.606 0.455
11 Nico Muller Jenzer Motorsport 1.46.639 0.488
12 James Calado Lotus ART 1.46.688 0.537
13 Nick Yelloly Atech CRS GP 1.46.739 0.588
14 Gabriel Chaves Addax Team 1.46.775 0.624
15 Aaro Vainio Tech 1 Racing 1.46.84 0.689
16 Pedro Nunes Lotus ART 1.46.865 0.714
17 Dean Smith Addax Team 1.46.889 0.738
18 Simon Trummer MW Arden 1.46.968 0.817
19 Tom Dillmann Carlin 1.46.983 0.832
20 Marlon Stockinger Atech CRS GP 1.47.002 0.851
21 Dominic Storey Addax Team 1.47.035 0.884
22 Tamas Pal Kiss Tech 1 Racing 1.47.089 0.938
23 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Marussia Manor Racing 1.47.206 1.055
24 Maxim Zimin Jenzer Motorsport 1.47.279 1.128
25 Leonardo Cordeiro Carlin 1.47.29 1.139
26 Luciano Bacheta RSC Mucke Motorsport 1.47.309 1.158
27 Ivan Lukashevich Status Grand Prix 1.47.319 1.168
28 Conor Daly Carlin 1.47.348 1.197
29 Vittorio Ghirelli Jenzer Motorsport 1.47.625 1.474
30 Zoel Amberg Atech CRS GP 1.47.739 1.588