The track temperature was a very hot 36° as the cars completed their formation lap and lined up on the grid but two stalled cars caused the start to be aborted and another formation lap was taken. The two stalled cars started from the pitlane which effectively promoted Nathanaël Berthon to 19th on the grid.
On lap 15, as Leimer had opened out his lead to 2.4 seconds, the decision was made that Leimer would have to take a drive-through penalty for his yellow flag infringement. On lap 18 Leimer entered the pits and resumed the track behind a big group of cars battling for 12th.
As the lights went off Fabio Leimer made a good start, holding second place into the first corner and, as the cars completed their first lap, the Racing Engineering car was chasing Calado for the lead. Starting lap 2 Leimer lost a place to Gutierrez as the Mexican slipstreamed him on the main straight but the young Swiss driver immediately tried to re-pass the Lotus GP car.
The two Lotus GP cars were battling each other for the lead and on lap 3 Leimer took advantage of their fight to make a great overtaking move on Gutierrez to regain second place. Now moving onto the gearbox of Calado, Leimer then slipstreamed the Lotus GP car down the main straight and as the two cars entered the following sequence of corners Leimer pulled off another great pass to take the lead.
Over the next few laps Leimer slowly pulled away from Calado and by lap 12 the gap was 1.5 seconds, but there was an announcement that Leimer was under investigation for ignoring a yellow flag.
Leimer started to pass the cars ahead of him but with just a few laps remaining he was unable to finish higher than 12th, just 0.2 seconds behind Clos.
Berthon made a great start and took advantage of several cars running wide into the first corner to finish the first lap in 13th place, 0.7 seconds behind Coletti and 1.3 seconds ahead of Trummer. By lap 5 Berthon had moved up to 12th and was still battling hard with Coletti. The young Frenchman gained two more places as a result of other cars problems and by lap 13 he was lying 10th, 0.7 seconds behind Van Der Garde and 0.9 seconds ahead of Palmer.
Sadly Berthon’s excellent progress came to an end on lap 15 when the Racing Engineering car had to pit with a rear wheel problem and then retire.
Although the final results are a disappointment for Racing Engineering and its two drivers, Leimer was clearly the fastest driver in today’s race and Berthon showed a very impressive race pace before his retirement and the whole team can look forward, with confidence, to their return to the Sakhir circuit in one week’s time.