Max Chilton - Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service

Max Chilton - Photo Credit: Andrew Ferraro/GP2 Media Service

Max Chilton set the pace in free practice ahead of the GP2 Series' stand-alone round in Bahrain.

It was a quiet session, with the likes of Lotus GP duo Esteban Gutierrez and James Calado only doing an out lap in a bid to preserve tyres. Racing at the same circuit last weekend meant that track knowledge and perfecting set-up were less of an issue for the teams.

Chilton moved ahead early on in 30 minute session, and was six tenths ahead of Carlin teammate Rio Haryanto and Caterham's Giedo van der Garde and the midway stage.

Last weekend's dominant double-winner Davide Valsecchi joined the track heading into the second half, and moved up into third with just over ten minutes remaining.

Jolyon Palmer then came to a halt out on track, bringing out the red flags. It's been a difficult start to the season for the iSport man, who stalled at the start of the feature race in Malaysia and suffered engine failure prior to last weekend's feature race. The clock continued to run down as his car was cleared, the session restarting with five minutes remaining.

Valsecchi and Razia moved into second and third places just before the checkered flag, but Chilton held on, three tenths clear of the rest.

Haryanto and van der Garde's times were good enough for fourth and fifth, ahead of Fabio Leimer and Felipe Nasr. Marcus Ericsson, Brendon Hartley and Fabrizio Crestani completed the top ten. Qualifying takes place at 09:30 BST.