Bahrain GP2: Rossi leads champ Vandoorne in tight practice session

Alexander Rossi led the way in free practice for the penultimate GP2 round of the season at Bahrain, alongside the World Endurance Championship

Bahrain GP2: Rossi leads champ Vandoorne in tight practice session

Rossi, who has just completed his five-race stint with the Manor Formula 1 team, set his time of 1m41.180s inside the first 15 minutes, and times largely stayed the same for the balance of the session.

He finished 0.033 seconds clear of champion-elect Stoffel Vandoorne, the McLaren protege recording a time of 1m41.213s.

Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly set the pace before Rossi and ended up third, with Vandoorne's ART team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita fourth, within 0.073s of Rossi.

In a trouble-free start to the weekend - the round replacing the cancelled German Grand Prix slot - Sergey Sirotkin was fifth, ahead of Raffaele Marciello, Alex Lynn and Jordan King.

Returning from injuries sustained at Spa in August, Daniel De Jong was 21st fastest for Trident.

In at Rapax in place of Robert Visoiu, Gustav Malja was 22nd, one spot ahead of Formula Renault 3.5 champion Oliver Rowland making his third GP2 appearance and first with Status.

PRACTICE RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1m41.180s - 18
2 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1m41.213s 0.033s 18
3 Pierre Gasly DAMS 1m41.230s 0.050s 19
4 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1m41.253s 0.073s 18
5 Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1m41.345s 0.165s 17
6 Raffaele Marciello Trident 1m41.427s 0.247s 18
7 Alex Lynn DAMS 1m41.507s 0.327s 19
8 Jordan King Racing Engineering 1m41.529s 0.349s 15
9 Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1m41.535s 0.355s 15
10 Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1m41.610s 0.430s 16
11 Norman Nato Arden International 1m41.688s 0.508s 17
12 Rene Binder MP Motorsport 1m41.729s 0.549s 18
13 Sergio Canamasas Daiko Team Lazarus 1m41.747s 0.567s 16
14 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1m41.849s 0.669s 17
15 Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1m41.943s 0.763s 17
16 Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1m42.006s 0.826s 18
17 Nathanael Berthon Daiko Team Lazarus 1m42.150s 0.970s 17
18 Andre Negrao Arden International 1m42.173s 0.993s 14
19 Dean Stoneman Carlin 1m42.453s 1.273s 17
20 Nicholas Latifi MP Motorsport 1m42.523s 1.343s 17
21 Daniel de Jong Trident 1m42.864s 1.684s 17
22 Gustav Malja Rapax 1m43.302s 2.122s 17
23 Oliver Rowland Status Grand Prix 1m43.342s 2.162s 13
24 Sean Gelael Carlin 1m44.400s 3.220s 19

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