When and Where: Qualifying for the 2012 Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix gets underway at 7 a.m. ET. Live coverage will be provided by Speed. You can also keep up to date with live timing and statistics at Formula1.com. The final practice session will eb available to view with a live stream at SpeedTV.com from 4 a.m.

If you're in the U.K. a live stream of qualifying will be provided by SkyGo.

Preview: Focusing on the on-track events has been a difficult proposition thus far in Bahrain. Pro-democracy protests that forced the cancellation of the race last year are still raging and have raised severe question marks over whether the Formula One circus should even be in the Gulf State in 2012.

The safety concerns have proved severe enough for Force India to pull out of Friday's second practice. The decision coming after four mechanics from the British-based team were caught up in a violent clash between protestors and police as they made their way back to their hotel in the Bahrain capital, Manama, on Wednesday night.

Fearing for the safety of their personnel, the team expressed their desire not to make the same trip again after darkness fell.

But Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has continued to claim that the safety of all involved in the grand prix is secure and insinuated that the decision on whether the race goes ahead rests with Bahraini officials.

So despite misgivings, it appears the lights will go out on Sunday for the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg will be confident of being at the front of the grid for the second-straight race after finishing quickest in Friday's second practice session. The Mercedes driver, winner of his first grand prix last week in China, finished close to half a second ahead of Sebastian Vettel with Lewis Hamilton a place further back.

But Rosberg was not getting carried away with his car's continued quick pace.

That was a good start to the weekend, and whilst it's nice to be quickest today, we know that doesn't count, said Rosberg, according to Formula1.com. The most important thing still is to improve our race pace.

Race pace is sure to be on the minds of all at Mercedes, with tire degradation having afflicted the cars following positive qualifying performances on more than once occasion in 2012. And with the smoldering heat in Bahrain it could well be crucial in deciding the outcome of Sunday's race.

 For that reason, Hamilton, in his McLaren, will likely be considered favorite for Sunday's race.

The championship leader, but yet to win a race so far in 2012, Hamilton ended Friday's first practice quickest, before finishing nearly a second behind Rosberg in P2. But the former champion will fancy his chances of challenging hard for pole on Saturday.

There is hope too for a better qualifying performance from Red Bull in Bahrain. The hot conditions present on the Bahrain International Circuit seem to favor the team that has been so dominant in the past two years, but that has endured a difficult start to the year. Sebastian Vettel finished second in both practice sessions as the double world champion looks to out-qualify team mate Mark Webber for the first time this season.