Nico Rosberg is the 7/4 joint favourite to post the best Q3 time after he continued where he left off in Bahrain posting the fastest time in Friday’s practice by half a second.
Lewis Hamilton was three tenths quicker than any of his rivals in practice one but he fell back to fourth and eventually Rosberg was nearly a second quicker than the Brit who is also 7/4 to claim pole position in qualifying.
Hamilton’s pace has his McLaren team as 4/6 to have the fastest car in qualifying after Jenson Button was also in the top six in the first action at the Middle Eastern circuit.
Button is at 8/1 to occupy the premier place on the grid at the track where he won in 2009, as he looks for his maiden pole this term.
It was another great day for the Mercedes team, as well as Rosberg coming out on top again, team mate Michael Schumacher was fifth fastest around the track making him 5/1 to be the man to lead them off on race day.
The Red Bulls had a good day as well with Mark Webber second quickest and at 20/1 to be first on the grid, whilst Sebastian Vettel was just a touch slower as he set the third best time, but the German will go into qualifying with confidence, and is 12/1 to return to the position he commanded for so long last year, at the front of the grid.
Ferrari struggled once again with Fernando Alonso scoring their best time that left him 8th in second practice and a 66/1 outside shot to be quickest through qualifying.
Force India opted to pull out of the second practice session in order to be back at base before dark after team members were forced to flee fire bombs at the circuit earlier in the week.
Paul Di Resta was third in practice one and the Scot is a massive 500/1 to occupy pole here.