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Page last updated at 07:46 GMT, Friday, 2 April 2010 08:46 UK

Malaysian GP practice as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

0840: Pick the bones out of that, why don't you. McLaren and Mercedes will presumably be quite happy with their day's work, Renault too, Red Bull will again be contemplating reliability issues, while Ferrari claim they foresee a "very difficult weekend". As my boss points out, though, didn't they say something similar before Bahrain? All in all, a thoroughly entertaining couple of practice sessions I'd say, but plenty of questions left to answer in FP3 and qualifying tomorrow. I'll be in the chair from 0530 BST, don't you dare leave me hanging.

BBC Five Live analyst Anthony Davidson: "Tomorrow is the big day but I'm certain Michael Schumacher will study the detail to see where he lost it on Rosberg again. It's only a small margin - two hundredths of a second - and he can easily make that up."

InsideFerrari on Twitter: "There is a lot of work to do to prepare the race: we can foresee a very difficult weekend."

MikeGascoyne on Twitter: "Session over, 34 laps from Jarno (Trulli) and 32 laps for Heikki (Kovalainen). Long-run pace relative to leaders looked good. A good day all round."

VirginRacing on Twitter: "Finally a breeze! I guess that means it'll rain soon!"

Club Force India on Twitter: "A good day in the office."

0832: Double bubble for Lewis Hamilton, then, the Briton topping second practice to go with his fastest lap in FP1. Sebastian Vettel ends the session in second, with Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, Robert Kubica, Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi, Vitaly Petrov and Adrian Sutil completing FP2's top 10 at Sepang.

Chequered flag
0830: That's your lot from FP2, then.

0829: Yep, Felipe Massa can only improve to 15th and it would appear there's plenty of fuel on board the Brazilian's Ferrari.

0828: There is a chance Ferrari have been concentrating on their long runs so far, but Felipe Massa may be making a push here late in the session... Or is he... the car looks heavy...

M15terRoboto on Twitter: "Gonna stick my neck out and predict a podium of Massa, Schumacher & Vettel - watch this space!"

0826: It would appear Felipe Massa has had some problems with his car, with Holly Samos reporting damage to the Brazilian's floor. The Ferrari man did flirt with the gravel a few times this morning.

0824: The track temperature has dropped a good nine degrees Celsius out at Sepang, with humidity 55. BBC Five Live analyst Anthony Davidson explains: "It feels like going into a sauna in a full racesuit and then getting on a running machine. That's what it's like for all the drivers."

Renault's Paddock Pass on Twitter: "Probably Robert (Kubica's) last run in this session, he's on prime."

f1spy on Twitter: "(Virgin's) Lucas Di Grassi reported a fuel pick-up problem on his last run. (Renault's Vitaly) Petrov, meanwhile, was recalled to the pits with a problem."

0821: With less than 10 minutes to go in the session, it would appear the teams are calculating race set-ups. An apparent disparity, meanwhile, between the Ferraris, with Fernando Alonso seventh and Felipe Massa down in 19th. We must always remember, though, that we cannot draw too many conclusions from practice.

0817: Jenson Button is not exactly a happy bunny, complaining "generally of understeer in the car in the high-speed corners" while encountering "rear-end instability in Turn Seven", which is a fourth-gear 120mph corner. Issues for McLaren, even though the Briton lies fourth in the timings.

sarahholtf1 on Twitter: "Check out Lotus pair Trulli and Kovalainen ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa & four seconds off the pace - has to be an improvement."

karthik_kannan on Twitter: "For anyone who doubted Schumacher's driving and pace, catch the Malaysian GP!"

0811: Twenty minutes of the session remaining, and the rain clouds are gathering... A reminder, by the way, that Jenson Button secured pole position last year with a lap of 1:35.181. Lewis Hamilton remains the fastest man on the track with a time of 1:34.175.

MyLotusRacing on Twitter: "Both cars in the garage on 21 laps with Jarno (Trulli) going out now. He's currently 16th (1.38.454), Heikki (Kovalainen) 18th (1.38.530)."

0807: The latest on Mark Webber's problems (see 0733) - the talk from BBC Five Live analyst Anthony Davidson is that he has seen Red Bull crew members mopping up oil with wads of tissue paper. Not good. Team boss Christian Horner is not being overly forthcoming, but tells Holly Samos the team believe it is "an engine problem". Still not good.

Renault Paddock Pass: "Our drivers stay our as they are on a longer run."

F1FIGHTERS on Twitter: "I'm extremely happy for Hamilton and Schumacher but I feel that Red Bull and Ferrari won't take long to ruin my day..."

VirginRacing on Twitter: "Changing clutch and torque settings on timo's steering wheel. Lucas changing mixture out on track."

0759: Aaaannnddd... Sebastian Vettel comes to the party with a little over half an hour to go, posting the second fastest lap of the day with a 1:34.441. It would appear the power steering issues are not quite as serious as perhaps feared. Jaime Alguersuari, meanwhile, is really struggling on the option tyres in his Toro Rosso and the Spaniard is having to fight to keep the car on track around this circuit.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Kuala Lumpur: "Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne has been celebrating his birthday at the team's home grand prix in Malaysia with a big chocolate birthday cake. Gascoyne is also aiming to sweeten the day even further as his team are running with a handful of new bits and pieces. The team tried out a new diffuser during first practice while Fairuz Fauzy's Lotus trialled a modified shark fin engine cover during P1. Jarno Trulli, who didn't start the Australian GP, because of hydraulic problems is apparently not entirely happy with the car and wants to get as much time behind the wheel as possible."

Club Force India on Twitter: "And next for Tonio (Liuzzi) will be an extended run on the option tyres."

InsideFerrari on Twitter: "Another pass through the pits for Fernando (Alonso) to practice a start."

0755: Sebastian Vettel asks for a cooling lap as he assesses his car's data, fearing a problem with his power steering. The problems for Red Bull continue to mount.

0754: Turn 10 is proving troublesome for a few drivers out there, and Adrian Sutil is the latest to visit the gravel after losing traction and clipping the kerb. Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher - just as in first practice - lead the way. The Ferraris and Red Bulls languish way down between 16th and 19th.

InsideFerrari on Twitter: "A quick pit stop for Fernando and Felipe went out again on soft tyres."

0749: Lewis Hamilton - despite setting a new fastest lap of 1:34.175 - is unhappy with the upshift in his car, saying it's very aggressive and causing wheel-spins. The downshift "is fine", however.

Club Force India on Twitter: "Tonio (Liuzzi) going to do three timed laps now, Adrian (Sutil) also waiting in car ready to go out."

rf1paddockpass on Twitter: "Weather is unpredictable, looks like there could be thunderstorms at around 1800 (1100 BST)."

Force India reserve driver Paul Di Resta: "It's good to get an impression of another circuit - it gave me a good impression of the car under the heat and give the team some good analysis. The tyres aren't lasting a lot, so tyre management is clearly going to be the key in qualifying. There's clearly not a big difference between the prime and option tyres."

0744: Michael Schumacher goes fastest with a 1:34.674... only for Lewis Hamilton to regain top spot with a 1:34.276 straight away.

0742: Lewis Hamilton still the Sepang pace-setter, but behind him the drivers are jostling for position as they swap positions on a regular basis. Michael Schumacher has just gone second quickest ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, with Jenson Button, Sebastien Buemi and Robert Kubica following up. Schuey starting to push the button now.

Tuan_56 on Twitter: "Red Bull so fast, yet so fragile..."

sarahholtf1 on Twitter: "Mark Webber trudges through the gravel as his Red Bull is lifted clear. Looks like reliability problems are haunting both Red Bulls now."

Renault Paddock Pass on Twitter: "Vitaly (Petrov) out on option tyres."

0738: Red Bull's explanation for Mark Webber's problem is "a loss of power" - in other words, very non-committal. That leads BBC Five Live analyst Anthony Davidson to say "that suggests to me it is quite serious".

BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie: "Malaysia is probably the busiest race on the calendar for the driver physios because of the extreme heat and humidity. Between sessions, I saw many of them running around, preparing cold energy drinks and chilling the drivers' nomex fireproofs and racesuits - which often means just sticking them in the freezer. David Coulthard told me he used to keep cool by plunging his arms into a bucket of iced water. The physios subscribe to the theory that a cool driver leads to a cool driver behind the wheel."

f1fanatic_co_uk on Twitter: "Despite the yellow flags Nico Rosberg has gone fastest of all in the first sector and done a personal best in the middle sector."

0733: Reliability problems for Red Bull again - but this time it's Mark Webber, though. The Australian suffers what appears to be an engine or gearbox failure approaching Turn Nine and he drifts slowly into the gravel before halting and abandoning ship. That looks session over for the Australian and its yet more frustration for Red Bull.

Lotus reserve driver and Malaysia's own Fairuz Fauzy: "This is a very important race - it's our first home event and we're the first Malaysian F1 team. We went well this morning, I had a great experience. It was very special feeling for me in front of my home crowd. I had a good run but there was a bit of problem with my steering wheel later on, which made me go slower. But it has been fantastic."

VirginRacing on Twitter: "Timo (Glock) concerned that rain is coming before the end of the session."

0729: Lewis Hamilton still out in front at the top of the timings with a lap of 1:34.954, ahead of Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, Adrian Sutil and Robert Kubica.

MikeGascoyne on Twitter: "First runs finished. Heikki (Kovalainen) making a big setup change, following the direction of Jarno (Trulli) from this morning."

VirginRacing on Twitter: "A Williams going out on options now. Tyres and fuel levels make it impossible to make sense of lap times."

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "I had a word with McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh in between sessions. He thinks the team's innovative aerodynamic "F-duct" system should work well down Sepang's straights, giving them more downforce going into the corners. Whitmarsh joined the other teams bosses at a meeting with Bernie Ecclestone at lunchtime and the team bosses will reconvene for a Fota meeting after second practice. On the agenda at both those meetings will be the state of F1 under the new rules. Whitmarsh says that on the evidence of the Australian GP the show doesn't need changing, although he adds F1 has to be realistic about how difficult overtaking is."

0721: So, having had a shower already - albeit a two-minute downfall - and with forecasts suggesting rain is in the air through the weekend, it would appear more than possible that the weather will have a large say on matters. Let's hope there's no repeat of last year's abandonment, hey? Keep up to date with all things weather-related in Kuala Lumpur with our delightful weather blog .

BBC Five Live analyst Anthony Davidson: "If Michael Schumacher comes away from this GP having failed to beat Nico Rosberg in a straight fight again, it's really going to start niggling him."

0715: Plenty of traffic out on track as the teams look to book in some early laps, but Michael Schumacher goes third fastest in the session with a 1:35.681. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are the top two, with the Red Bulls and Ferrari keeping their powder dry in a pack between 15th and 18th.

fusenUK on Twitter: "I think it's fairly safe to say that with all the safety car action that'll occur, qualifying positions will only count 50-70%."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Kuala Lumpur: "Plenty of activity in the paddock this lunchtime as the team bosses filed past one-by-one as they headed off to meet F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Hispania made the best of the sun by hanging Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok's racesuits out to dry - before a brief but furious shower put paid to that clever idea. Team Jenson Button - Dad John and girlfriend Jessica - posed for the cameras as they were practically the only people taking time out to actually have lunch in Malaysia."

0708: Lewis Hamilton is fastest again with a lap of 1:34.954. The McLarens looking in very good shape this weekend.

0707: Sebastien Buemi tops the time-charts with a lap of 1:36.926 in his Toro Rosso, with seven drivers having completed a circuit.

f1fanatic_co_uk on Twitter: "Kobayashi spins the Sauber at the turn nine hairpin."

0704: Track temperature is already up to 51 degress Celsius - a rise of 4 degrees since the session started.Ouch.

0702: Tonio Liuzzi also returns in his Force India for this session, with Paul di Resta back on the pit wall.

0700: Second free practice is under way... and Lucas di Grassi is the first out in his Virgin Racing, while Heikki Kovalainen returns to practice in place of first practice driver Fairuz Fauzy and it also on track.

jakehumphreyf1 on Twitter: "Track temperature now 49 degrees!!!!!"

Williams communications' Claire V Williams on Twitter: "Practice starts in T-10. Rubens (Barrichello) & the Hulk (Nico Hulkenberg) working on mechanical set-ups & tyre testing this afternoon after aero & practice starts this morning.

0652: Oh - and by the way - a little over an hour ago, it shelted it down over the Sepang circuit. It's blue skies all around, now, but if we don't get some rain during Sunday's race you can call me Professor McGoodleberry.

0647: Now then, it's around this time of day in Kuala Lumpur that temperatures get sweatier than a mosh pit at an AC/DC concert. In fact, the extreme climate has led the Malaysian Grand Prix to be dubbed the "toughest race of the year" for the drivers, who will endure cockpit temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius and lose around three kilos in weight. "How do the drivers combat such temperatures?" cry the masses. We're talking dry ice, helmet ventilation and around 4,000 bottles of water, 1,000 energy drinks and 1,000 cans of soft drink that will be drunk over four days by the drivers and crew. I'd hate to see the queue for the portaloos...

DavidWanna on Twitter: "We are just up the road in Thailand - Hot & Sunny here but has to be storms for KL..."

Ben in London via text: "I have to agree with Crofty... I think its going to be Mark Webber's weekend."

0638: And while you're waiting for the resumption of racing, why not have a flick through our latest gossip column? We have Michelin, Kers, outboard mirrors chat... lock, stock, the lot.

f1fanatic_co_uk on Twitter: "Red Bull only sixth and ninth in FP1, but Vettel was quickest of all in the middle sector with its high-speed bends."

0635: And may I also remind you that this is your opportunity to get your name up in lights, a real dear diary moment, something to tell the grandkids - yes, why not send me your missives and see if you can't get published on the BBC Sport website. Text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), or Tweet me and I might just make you famous for 15 minutes. Oh the dream.

0630: Ah, welcome back folks. If you're joining me for the first time, Lewis Hamilton topped the time-charts in a McLaren and Mercedes-dominated first practice in Kuala Lumpur as the Briton looks to bounce back from his/his team's Melbourne slip-up. He did not, however, celebrate with a series of doughnuts in the pit lane. Shame. As mentioned, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher also all impressed, while there is sure to be more to come from the Red Bulls and Ferraris as the teams set about finalising their qualifying set-up. Stay tuned, second free practice gets started at 0700 BST.

0440: That's a wrap from FP1, then, I'll be back at 0630 BST with TV and Five Live sports extra coverage resuming for the start of FP2 at 0700 BST. Get some caffeine down your neck or grab a quick nap and I'll see you in a couple of hours. Bootiful.

InsideFerrari on Twitter: "Session finished, Fernando (Alonso) eighth, Felipe (Massa) 11th. There is still some work to do in between the two sessions..."

0435: A word on those McLarens, by the way, that were topping the timings until Nico Rosberg's late run, here's our pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "We could really see McLaren's F-Duct system come of age here in Malaysia, there are two very long straights here and the McLarens are quickest on them. There are looking impressively quick."

0433: A terrific late run from Nico Rosberg sees him leapfrog Jenson Button and, significantly(?), team-mate Michael Schumacher into second fastest behind pace-setter Lewis Hamilton at the end of first free practice. Schumacher has only out-paced Rosberg twice in practice this season so far. Button, then, is third, Schumacher fourth, with Robert Kubica, Mark Webber, Adrian Sutil, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Buemi making up the top 10.

Chequered flag
0430: The chequered flag is out for FP1.

Danny via text: "Red Bull seem to be one of the few teams if not the only team that spends all of practice running on full fuel, could that be hurting them come the race?"

0424: ...but little impact being made on the timings, with Lewis Hamilton, for example, more than three seconds off his best lap of 1:34.921.

0423: The track is a busy ol' place right now...

0420: It's as you were at the top of the time charts with 10 minutes remaining, Lewis Hamilton leading from Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, Robert Kubica, Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber, Adrian Sutil, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Kamui Kobayashi in that order.

Official Mercedes GP: "Nico's out again and Michael following right now..."

0419: Yet another set-up change for Michael Schumacher, with changes this time to the front and rear torsion bars and a change of the ride-height, reports Ted Kravitz, as the German goes all out on concentrating on his qualifying set-up. Holly Samos reports that Felipe Massa, meanwhile, has minor damage to the front right of the front wing of his Ferrari.

0416: With less than quarter of an hour remaining in the session, any of you wondering what particular demands the Sepang circuit offers? Renault's Robert Kubica has offered a walk-through, pointing out: "Sepang is a unique track with a mix of corners: some are seriously quick, but others are slow. The track has a bit of everything, which is why it demands a lot from the car."

Official Mercedes GP on Twitter: "Both cars in the garage now... Michael talking to Shov about changes for the next run."

0411: Latest from Ted Kravitz in the pit lane, with news that Michael Schumacher's tyres are suffering wearing on the outer edge of the left rear. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has a problem, too, but we're not sure if it's an engine, acceleration problem or a snatched brake. The Renault engineers are keeping an eye on that...

Official Mercedes GP on Twitter: "Temperature is 30 degrees with track temps of 38 degrees. Feels hotter than that in the garage when the cars come back in!"

0409: Michael Schumacher the big mover out on track, now, the German up to P3 on his sixth run with a 1:35.395.

Pharaoh_Divine on Twitter: "Predicting rain in Malaysia is like predicting the next rule change by FIA! You never know!"

InsideFerrari on Twitter: "Felipe went off but rejoined the track. No apparent damage on the car as he is still running."

0407: Michael Schumacher goes immediately up to P6 on his fourth run in his Mercedes. Ferrari's Felipe Massa, meanwhile, goes off track again...grip issues?

0406: Felipe Massa 'does a de la Rosa' and goes off at Turn 11 (not Turn 12 as I originally said) and his car eats some gravel too. The Brazilian is down in 15th in his Ferrari on the charts. We can't, obviously, read too much into that at this stage, though.

Club Force India on Twitter: "Paul (di Resta) back in, reporting traffic on his laps and also the tyres are graining quickly. Adrian (Sutil) having similar issues."

MikeGascoyne on Twitter: "Jarno (Trulli) making a big set-up change."

BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard: "Fernando Alonso says Ferrari have no concerns about their engine performance in the heat and humidity of Malaysia. Both Alonso and Felipe Massa were given new engines before the Bahrain race because the team were concerned about the rising desert temperatures but are confident that it won't be an issue here. Alonso also said that he doesn't think Ferrari are quick enough to challenge the Red Bulls in one-lap place. Michael Schumacher has also turned his attention to qualifying, saying Mercedes were too conservative in Melbourne. Mercedes usually go out on the harder tyres during first practice so we may not see any qualifying simulations yet but they'll probably look at some shorter runs in P2."

0401: Pedro de la Rosa goes into the gravel at Turn 11 after clipping the kerb with his BMW Sauber. Lewis Hamilton still the fastest man on the charts, ahead of Jenson Button, Robert Kubica, Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Adrian Sutil. Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel follow up, but we can expect more from them to come.

0357: ...bless ol' Ted Kravitz - our man has had to eat his words rather hastily with Michael Schumacher getting his helmet on in preparation for an imminent run. The hydraulics problem has been fixed and the German will be on track very soon. Worry over.

0355: According to our man Ted Kravitz in the pit lane, Michael Schumacher's issue is not a small one. He suspects it is a hydraulic problem with his Mercedes and Ted is wondering whether the German will be able to get out and about at all this session. Not what the seven-time world champion wanted at all, that, not at all.

Club Force India on Twitter: "Adrian (Sutil) goes P6 with 1:35.955. on the harder tyre now, Paul (di Resta) also out for second run."

VirginRacing on Twitter: "Timo happy with the car in general. Just discussing handling with the engineers. Maybe a ride height change?"

0353: Michael Schumacher, who has only been out for a single installation lap, is having work - unspecified - done on the back of his car, but the German hopes to be out and about soon.

f1fanatic_co_uk on Twitter: "Webber lost the back end of the Red Bull at turn nine but managed to gather it all up again."

VirginRacing on Twitter: "Timo (Glock) and Lucas (di Grassi) both doing good times. They are trying different things but I'm not saying what :-)"

0348: Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap of the day so far with a 1:34.921 in his McLaren.

0346: More from Bridgestone tyre guru Andy Stobart: "It's a high speed track with two long straights going into tight corners. It's an interesting one for tyres, they take a lot of stress throughout the course of a lap. The track surface, if dry, is usually very hot and the tyres have to do a good job. We've brought hard and soft compounds like we had in Australia; they should be a good combination here. Who knows what it's going to do here weather-wise - the whole thing about rain is it's not constant, you don't know how wet the track will be. You could do all the practice in the world but the conditions can vary when it's wet."

Official Mercedes GP: "And Nico's out for his first proper run of the day..."

0342: The Renaults of Vitaly Petrov and Robert Kubica briefly top the time-charts, but McLaren's Jenson Button is now the fastest man out there with a lap of 1:35.464. Times dropping like a stone, though, as the track gets increasingly clean. Temperatures rising... Jaime Alguersuari's problem, meanwhile, appears to have been electronic rather than engine-failure in his Toro Rosso. He remains in the paddock.

0338: Now then, if you're going to interview Bridgestone spokesman Andy Stobart, you might as well ask him about rumours that Michelin are closing on a return to Formula 1, right? Well don't expect much. "It's too early to comment on it," is the chat.

BBC Five Live analyst Anthony Davidson: "As far as qualifying, there is absolutely no reason why Sebastian Vettel, again, should not grab pole position. He has the fastest car, is one of the fastest drivers, and he looks after his tyres."

MikeGascoyne on Twitter: "Track cleaning up and times coming down."

0332: "Problem with the engine, problem with the engine," cries Jaime Alguersuari on his Toro Rosso radio. Not happy with his Ferrari engine, I reckon, the Spaniard. I could be taking a leap there. And Force India's Paul di Resta, driving in place of Tonio Liuzzi this morning, is now the fastest man on track with a 1:37.209.

0330: Half an hour done in first practice and we have seven drivers who have completed laps. Among those who have only briefly emerged onto the track are Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica and both the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Renault on Twitter: "A short first run for Vitaly Petrov..."

VirginRacing on Twitter: "Looking to go out in about eight minutes if we stick to the plan."

Sarah Holt on Twitter: "There aren't many Malaysian fans here today..."

0324: Jaime Alguersuari goes top of the time-charts in his Toro Rosso with a 1:40.119. The Spaniard, Fairuz Fauzy, Karun Chandhok, Bruno Senna and Pedro de la Rosa the only drivers on the timesheets so far.

MyLotusRacing on Twitter: "Eight laps done and Fairuz is given command to "box Fairuz box". Currently top of the time sheets on 1.41.552."

0321: The changes, they keep on a-coming... The FIA, it would appear, is set to introduce a ban on outboard mirrors from the Chinese Grand Prix. Teams with outboard mirrors include Ferrari, Red Bull, Force India and Williams. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel addressed the issue, saying: "We have no concerns for this weekend, we are much more concerned that from the next race onwards we'll have to run the mirrors inboard and our car is losing quite some performance due to that."

0316: Fairuz Fauzy completes his first lap in the Lotus in a time of 1:42.390. The crowd go absolutely ballistic for the Malaysian driver. Sort of.

0314: A slight early concern, by the way, for Mark Webber's Red Bull - with a possible over-heating problem occuring during his installation lap, shown up by the stickers on his bodywork bubbling up and peeling off. Team boss Christian Horner plays down the issue, insisting "the cars' cooling systems looks fine".

0311: Pedro de la Rosa the only driver to have set a time so far, the Spaniard taking his BMW Sauber round in 1:53.090.

Naeem Ahmed in London via text: "So with the washout last year and rain guaranteed, have any lessons been learned... Are we destined for another slip and slide?"

Josephh17 on Twitter: "Hey Sam. I'm up for the practice. Insomnia + F1 obsession = happy at 3am. Happy Birthday Mike Gascoine!"

0307: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg make it a clean sweep of drivers out on track.

0306: Mark Webber, targeting a timely return to form this weekend after a disappointing return of six points from a possible 50 in the first two races, and Michael Schumacher - similarly a man under pressure? - emerge from the pits, leaving Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as the only drivers yet to set out at Sepang at the moment.

0305: By the way, an early driver update for you all. We have Lotus reserve and home favourite (presumably) Fairuz Fauzy taking part in the first practice session in place of Heikki Kovalainen. Paul di Resta is back for Force India too in place of Tonio Liuzzi this time.

0300: We are under way, folks, with a pair of Lotuses and Force Indias the first out on the track. McLaren's Jenson Button is also out and about.

jakehumphreyf1 on Twitter: "29 degree track temp, humidity 70%, cars on track shortly... go online or press red button night owls!!!"

GinoU21 on Twitter: "I live in the USA and will be watching practice at 2am, Qualifying at 4am, Race at 4am. I feel your pain, Europe!"

0254: BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Kuala Lumpur: "Good morning from Malaysia. The Sepang circuit is surrounded by lush tropical forests 25 miles from Kuala Lumpur at the mercy of Malaysia's fickle tropical skies - and that brings a feeling that anything can happen at this uniquely challenging circuit. Day one at the track brought its own small dramas. A swooningly hot day succumbed to rainstorms at 1720 local time, and Jenson Button found himself caught out on his track walk. When he arrived back at McLaren HQ, the power failed and he conducted half of his interviews in the dark. After snakes in the bathroom last season, TV headquarters have been bothered by scorpions this time around. I reckon we're nicely poised for plenty more drama over the next three days."

Lee in Bristol via text: "I've finally realised one benefit of working the night shift. I can watch free practice without having to look out for the boss man! Lets hope for a wet weekend!"

0247: We have TV pictures people - and what I see is a rather hazy morning out in Kuala Lumpur. Our very own Sarah Holt is in situ and will be updating us on all things Sepang this weekend (as all weekends of course) but let me throw something into the mix right now. It has been raining, almost on the button, at around 1700-ish local time every day this week. In other words - bang in race time. Hmmm.

MikeGascoyne on Twitter: "On the pitwall for the start of P1. Just been given a birthday cake by Tony and the team in the garage."

emmalouisealice on Twitter: "I'm awake waiting for a flight and at least the F1 is on... good enough?"

0240: Oh - and before we get down to the brass tacks of it all, may I remind you that I want - nay, need - your chat, if only to reassure me I'm not the only one up at stupid o'clock because of an F1 obsession bordering on ridiculous. You can be all, you know, 1990s about it and drop me a text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide), or prove you are all social media-savvy 'n that by Tweeting me. No, I still haven't worked it out yet either. Ho hum.

0237: "Sammy, what's the plan of action?" I hear you cry. Well, today we're looking at a 90-minute practice session starting at 0300 BST (1000 local time) and a second session at 0700 BST (1400 local time) - with both being shown on the Red Button and right here on this very website. I trust you've either grabbed an early kip and are now up and at 'em for this lot, or are braving it by seeing through your Thursday evening until the early hours. Either way, I salute you.

0233: Well, as Mark Twain might have noted, rumours of the death of Formula 1 appear to have been greatly exaggerated, no? Race Two in Melbourne saw a combination of awesome racing, top manouevres and incidents-a-plenty to restore faith in the sport despite the feared affects of this season's rule changes - and don't bet against a similarly eventful race this weekend in Malaysia, I tell you. First practice gets started in under half an hour. Are you ready?

0230: All right, hands up, who wrote this Formula 1 season off after the "Bahrain Borefest" season-opener?

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After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham

see also
Malaysian Grand Prix practice results
24 Feb 10 |  Results
Hamilton heads Vettel in practice
02 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Malaysian GP practice photos
02 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton retains faith in McLaren
01 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Virgin chief to pay fuel tank fee
31 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus keen to silence F1 critics
31 Mar 10 |  Formula 1

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