Sebastian Vettel storms right back into championship contention, then, only days after
three-time champion Niki Lauda wrote the Red Bulls off.
A spirited storm up the placings from McLaren pair Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, too, while Nico Rosberg will undoubtedly be delighted with a podium finish. A word, too, on Virgin Racing's first finish - lovely. That's me done, keep across the website for all the reaction and
head to our race report
for our Post-Race Forum. The rather splendid Mark Orlovac
is back for the China GP in a fortnight, so don't you dare miss that. Nice one, folks, see ya.
Sebastian Vettel on BBC One:
"Well it wasn't comfortable. I realised straight away I had a good start. It's good that me and Mark (Webber) can fight each other but you should keep the respect and I am glad that we have done that, I am sure Mark would do the same as I did. After that we had the same pace but I was able to stay in front. It was a very good result for us especially after two races where we didn't finish where we wanted to be."
Mark Webber on BBC One:
"The first part of the race is critical and in the first sector I had a little wheel spin on the way to Turn One and gave Seb (Sebastian Vettle) a big tow. The spirit and chemistry in our team is awesome and we fought well today, Seb got the better of it, but it could have gone either way. Great result for the team, we executed a beautiful weekend."
Nico Rosberg on BBC One:
"It's a fantastic result for us today. The start didn't go too well, I got too much wheel spin at the start, but I think that was down to me trying a bit too hard. So they got away at the start. The guys have worked very hard all winter so a first podium is a good reward for them, but we really need to push on from this.
Red Bull F1 spy on Twitter:
"We won. And we came second. We ruled Malaysia start to flippin' finish. Now, remind me how we celebrate a win again..."
Christian Horner on BBC One:
"That really is a fantastic result for us. Both drivers pushed themselves but also played fair and, on that first corner in particular, gave each other room. I think Mark Webber snuck in with the fastest lap near the end, there, and that is always dear to Sebastian Vettel's heart. So Mark got the fastest lap and Sebastian got the race win. We're happy with that."
Desolation_row on 606:
"Standings table makes great reading, the gap between Massa at the top and Hamilton in 6th is just seven points. If then at the next race Hamilton finished first and Massa second they would be level. Hopefully the top six cars can stay in contention for a while and we have a really exciting championship."
What that means, of course, is that Ferrari's Felipe Massa leads the drivers' championship with 39 points, two ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel (37), who in turn are two ahead of Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button (35). Lewis Hamilton is now sixth with 31 ahead of Robert Kubica (30) and Mark Webber (24).
1040: Jaime Alguersuari
and Nico Hulkneberg
, meanwhile, close out the top 10, and Virgin Racing have their first finish as Lucas di Grassi
comes home in 14th place. Jubbly.
Sensational race for Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel
and Mark Webber
bringing home the one-two as Christian Horner's side finally hit the reliability button. To think the German could have won all three races so far this season... Nico Rosberg
, meanwhile, comes home in third, ahead of Robert Kubica, Adrian Sutil, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa
and Jenson Button
in that order.
SEBASTIAN VETTEL WINS THE MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX Lap 55: Fernando Alonso is out!
The Spaniard makes a big move on Jenson Button at Turn One, passing the Briton on the inside, but as he watches the McLaren zip back past him moments later it is clear a cylinder in his Ferrari has gone and, in a plume of smoke, he is forced onto the grass verge and out of the race. Well, if you're going to retire, you might as well do it from ninth, I suppose.
Fastest circuit of the race in that last lap for Mark Webber, with a 1:37.054 - that's despite the Australian supposedly looking after his tyres. Red Bull hugely impressive this weekend.
Two battles left among the points contenders - Adrian Sutil currently holding off Lewis Hamilton relatively comfortably, Jenson Button doing likewise with Fernando Alonso, only far less comfortably.
With five laps to go, our top eight is looking pretty set. It stands like this: Vettel, Webber, Rosberg, Kubica, Sutil, Hamilton, Massa, Button.
Lewis Hamilton looking less and less likely to pass Adrian Sutil - and he is told now that he will have to deal with Felipe Massa coming up from behind in the last four laps of the race. At the back of the field, by the way, Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok have enjoyed passing manoeuvres on Jarno Trulli, who is now in 17th and last place.
BBC's pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz:
"Red Bull look pretty calm and confident at the moment. They are going through reams and reams of telemetry in order to determine whether both their cars can make it until the end. It's looking good."
Fernando Alonso makes his move at Turn One, but he can't hold Jenson Button off in Turn Two and the Briton reclaims eighth spot. This will be nip and tuck for a while yet. Still no joy for Lewis Hamilton on Adrian Sutil - and the Briton might just have Felipe Massa to worry about before the end of this race, too.
Jenson Button looks like he's riding on race-old tyres now, and no mistake. It is surely only a matter of time before his McLaren is passed by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. The front four of Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica continue to cruise.
Jenson Button is passed! Felipe Massa gets by the McLaren at Turn One and the Brazilian is told over the team radio by Rob Smedley: "Good boy, now get on with it". Is Button paying the price for that early stop now?
Fernando Alonso is bringing the fastest lap times down almost every circuit, this really is impressive in this car with this car's problems, and he is now less than two seconds behind Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa.
Martin Brundle on BBC One:
"This again proves that Fernando Alonso would have made a lot more progress, despite the downshift problem, had he got past Felipe Massa at any point. Saying that, he's been trying to pass Massa for about eight days now."
Lewis Hamilton continues to try to press Adrian Sutil, but the German's Force India is holding position well. "I can't follow this guy, he's too quick on the straight" says Hamilton on the team radio. The Briton continues to breathe down his neck, though, while further back Fernando Alonso is making ground lap-by-lap on Felipe Massa and Jenson Button.
Fernando Alonso, on lap 38, sets a new fastest lap with a 1:37.633 - two seconds faster than Felipe Massa and Jenson Button. Woah. Out in front, Sebastian Vettel is 3.8 clear of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, who in turn is 12.6 seconds ahead of Nico Rosberg.
With everyone having made a stop, then, here's your order: Vettel, Webber, Rosberg, Kubica, Sutil, Hamilton, Button, Massa, Alonso, Alguersuari.
Among all that, Lewis Hamilton is crawling all over Adrian Sutil, and Felipe Massa is all over the backside of Jenson Button. If
it stays like this, Fernando Alonso will lead the championship by one point ahead of Vettel, Button and Massa, with Rosberg two point back from them and four points ahead of Hamilton. Close.
And, finally, Fernando Alonso comes in - the gamble has not paid off - the Spaniard re-emerging behind Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa and ahead of Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari.
Felipe Massa, in ninth, is ordered by his team to pass Jenson Button - "use the overtake button" they cry.
Anthony Davidson on BBC Radio 5 live:
"It's amazing what Fernando Alonso is doing out there, with the problems with his car. The fact that he is even able to think about competing with drivers of the calibre of Robert Kubica is testament to what a fantastic driver he is."
Lewis Hamilton can probably smell Adrian Sutil's exhaust fumes at the moment, he is all over the back of the German's Force India.
Renault's Vitaly Petrov is out - it's another retirement - and BBC One's Martin Brundle
speculates it's a mechanical issue. Now, I'm about 6,500 miles away admittedly, but I reckon it's getting darker at Sepang. We won't have rain for the closing laps... will we?
That lap 32 sees Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:37.745 - awesome stuff. Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, is told by Ferrari that he has to make ground on fourth-placed Robert Kubica. "We know it is difficult on these tyres, but try," they say.
Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest first sector of the race so far and he will be making his assault from seventh.
In comes Lewis Hamilton now - and the Briton just, and I'm talking inches here, gets out in front of Jenson Button. On fresh tyres Hamilton and Button will be pressing the top six now. A couple of tremendous moves from Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari, meanwhile, sees him leapfrog Nico Hulkenberg on the outside of Turn Five and up into 10th. Nice work.
Lewis Hamilton trying to put the lap times in now that could see him emerge in front of the likes of Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica when he pits - that will be a tall, tall order, though. The Briton is now 4.2 seconds off the lead, with Mark Webber 1.9 seconds further back.
Felipe Massa, now is getting his car shifting on his new tyres and he sets the fastest lap of the race from ninth with a 1:38.02. Your race order right now is Vettel, Hamilton, Webber, Rosberg, Kubica, Alonso, Sutil, Button, Massa, Hulkenberg
The Red Bulls swapping fastest laps, now, with Sebastian Vettel ripping around in 1:39.718 on lap 27. Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso still
yet to pit.
In comes the first Ferrari - Felipe Massa - and the Brazilian is back out in front of Nico Hulkenberg in ninth, but crucially behind Jenson Button. Mark Webber sets the fastest lap of the race with a 1:39.739 from third.
Lewis Hamilton, second in his McLaren, and the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso - sixth and seventh respectively - all yet to pit. Adrian Sutil and Jenson Button very close to the Red cars, too.
Ouch. Not the greatest pit from Mark Webber - the wheel gun getting caught on his front right - and the Australian is back out behind both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton with a pit to make, of course, but the Briton is up to second from 20th on the grid - remarkable.
Sebastian Vettel is the first of the Red Bulls into the pits and that probably ruins Mark Webber's chances of passing his German team-mate. Vettel is back out in front of Lewis Hamilton.
Nico Rosberg is the latest front-runner to come in and, in a remarkably quick pit stop, gets back out in front of Robert Kubica and the Ferraris. Lewis Hamilton is now third.
Robert Kubica is in the pits, now, but he gets back out in front of the Ferraris - crucially. Fernando Alonso, despite that downshift problem, continues to out-pace Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa. He remains behind the Brazilian, though.
In comes Adrian Sutil to the pits - he goes from the option to the prime - and he emerges back in eight, Lewis Hamilton - who set a fastest lap yet again on lap 20 with a 1:40.416 - up to fifth now, 15 places up from his grid position.
Another fastest lap of the race on lap 19 for Lewis Hamilton - a 1:40.574 - and he is now just 4.9 seconds off his good friend Adrian Sutil in fifth. Fernando Alonso, it would appear, has got a downshift issue - which will clearly make overtaking very difficult indeed for his Ferrari, while Heikki Kovalainen is forced to quit in the pits, what a shame for Lotus Racing.
Lewis Hamilton is told by the McLaren team that "it could be clear to the end of the race". If that is the case, that is great news for both Hamilton and team-mate Jenson Button, who would be certain to leapfrog the Ferraris and up into sixth or seventh in that scenario. Button is 10th at the moment.
Michael Schumacher on BBC Radio 5 live:
"I lost a wheel nut basically so there was no more drive left. Yes it's very unusual for us to have a reliability problem. Last year, Ross (Brawn) didn't have any retirements at all so it's a shame. We were in good position, I was pacing myself, and although it is a long race it was all looking ok."
Moments after Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest lap of the race in his McLaren, Red Bull's Mark Webber posts the quickest time with a 1:40.668. The Australian, still hoping to stay on Sebastian Vettel's tail long enough that his pit-stop gives him the edge, trails his team-mate by 1.1 seconds now, with Nico Rosberg third, Robert Kubica fourth, Adrian Sutil fifth and Lewis Hamilton sixth. BBC One commentator Jonathan Legard
reveals rain is "about half an hour away".
Sebastian Buemi, meanwhile, is kept on the option tyres - Toro Rosso are anticipating rain and another stop too.
Great news for Ferrari as Sebastian Buemi comes in - that frees Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa up to make a move. Contrasting strategy, this, from Ferrari and Jenson Button's McLaren - Ferrari gambling on rain, Button gambling on it staying dry. At the moment it looks dry as a bone... but the clouds are forming...
In come Nico Hulkenberg and Vitaly Petrov - in that order - and Jenson Button comes through to pass that pair as they are in the pits. Button, by the way, set the fastest lap of the race on lap 12 with a 1:41.155.
Lewis Hamilton is up to seventh as Tonio Liuzzi is out, not sure why. BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz
reports that Jenson Button is hoping that, on fresh tyres, he can pass both Ferraris as they are being held up by Sebastien Buemi's Toro Rosso.
Mercedes' Nico Rosberg is hanging on pretty well in third, just 4.4 seconds off the leading Red Bulls 12 laps in. Lewis Hamilton, up to eighth, is now pressing Tonio Liuzzi in seventh - the gap just 0.6 seconds.
Jenson Button comes in and he's gone from the soft tyres to the hard - he's gambling on going to the end of the race in the dry. Michael Schumacher is out
. It looks a problem with his Mercedes' rear suspension and the German is out from sixth. Lewis Hamilton gets away with a warning for "excessive weaving" on that manouevre on Vitaly Petrov.
Anthony Davidson on BBC Radio 5 live:
"I don't know what Lewis Hamilton was doing there, he was weaving all over the track, drivers are always told you can make one defensive move but Hamilton made loads then. I am sure the FIA will have been watching that and Renault will definitely make a complaint. I think he thought he was playing a Playstation out there rather than real life."
Jenson Button gets in Fernando Alonso's slip-stream at the end of the pit straight and eases past the Spaniard. Kamui Kobayashi's race looks done, the Sauber stalled on a corner and being helped off by stewards. Virgin's Timo Glock is out too, by the way, after a collision with Jarno Trulli.
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, by the way, are more than three seconds clear of the field already. Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, has now passed Vitaly Petrov but then - down the pit straight - weaves from side to side to keep the Renault at bay. Can he get away with that? In theory, you're only allowed one move to defend a position, don't forget.
Holly Samos on BBC radio 5 live:
"Vettel was told on the warm up lap that his engine was over working and he needed to do a good job at keeping it as cool as possible, so that might be something to keep an eye on..."
Forgive me, but this is the Lewis Hamilton show right now - he passes Vitaly Petrov at the start of lap six, only to be re-passed by the Russian on the inside at Turn One. The Briton is crawling all over his back-side, though. Mark Webber, meanwhile, continues to sit happily in second, in the hope that if he pits before Sebastian Vettel he can get the jump on his Red Bull team-mate.
With Lewis Hamilton pushing on the Renault of Vitaly Petrov, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button remain 14th-16th and they are just not finding the room and over-taking opportunities that Hamilton is. Nico Hulkenberg, in seventh, leads from Tonio Liuzzi.
And Lewis Hamilton continues to rip it up - this time he eases past Kamui Kobayashi on the inside and he is up into 10th - 10 spots in four laps, nice going. Sebastian Vettel continues to lead from Mark Webber, with Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica, Adrian Sutil and Michael Schumacher in behind.
Lewis Hamilton is now past Jaime Alguersuari and the Briton is already up to 11th.
Michael Schumacher is also up to sixth, by the way, while Lewis Hamilton is absolutely flying, taking Sebastien Buemi at the quick Turn Five. Not such great news for McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, with both Ferraris passing him on Turns Nine and 10. The Briton is back down to 16th.
Great start for Sebastian Vettel as he gets the jump on team-mate Mark Webber to steal the lead going into Turn One. Lewis Hamilton, brilliantly, is up to 12th with Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso following up in that order.
The cars are in position. Just moments to go...
Pedro de la Rosa on BBC One:
"We had an engine blow-up - I don't know why, it was very unexpected. We tested well without a problem but it's race day that you have to deliver so it's shame. It's a race I've been looking forward to all year - hot, humid and testing. I had prepared for this race very well."
The drivers are out on their warm-up lap. It would appear Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton are on the hard tyres, with Jenson Button on the softs.
Yet another weather update for you - apparently, the chance of wet is now receding. Not good news for the back markers.
This is your five-minute warning people. I urge you not to miss the start. Please. For me.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner on BBC One:
"Hopefully both Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel will be sensible and they can get a clean run through Turns One and Two - we think the rain is about 70km away and here in Malaysia you can almost guarantee that it rains every day between five and seven o'clock."
VirginRacing on Twitter:
"Track now cleared! And pit-lane closed now. We are removing the brake cooling, temperatures very critical in this heat."
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone on BBC One:
"It's been good so far this season and we couldn't ask for a much better grid could we. You have to reckon on a Red Bull winning. If I was on the back of the grid I would definitely want rain - in fact if it doesn't rain I want my money back!"
How worrying is that news from Sarah for the Ferraris given the BMW Saubers employ Ferrari engines I wonder?
sarahholtf1 on Twitter:
"Pedro de la Rosa stopped his Sauber on track with suspected engine failure. Let's see if he can get back to pits sharpish..."
I won't lie, I adore Martin Brundle's
grid walk. It brings me unmeasured pleasure. Here's Jenson Button
: "This (17th and 20th) is not where we (McLaren) should be. It's going to be difficult to pick off the cars in front but we will do our best - we have got a pretty good car around here. It's not all about winning, we just need to pick out some good points. Winning would be amazing but it is a long season so we need to make sure we pick up some points."
Pedro de la Rosa, meanwhile, has stalled his BMW Sauber in the pit lane. And the rain isn't even here, yet.
The cars are out and about on their formation laps by the way, and poor ol' Nico Hulkenberg has just pushed his Williams off track already. The German is starting from fifth on the grid, of course, so maybe he's getting the mistakes out of his system now.
Michael Schumacher's form on his comeback has been the subject of much discussion in F1 as he struggles to match team-mate Nico Rosberg. In an interview with Jake Humphrey on BBC One
, Schumacher insists: "I'm squeezing now almost the maximum from the car. I'm coming back after a three-year break, you have a driver who is known to be competitive. I am not a magician. Give me a bit of time. It will get better. When I remember racing other team-mates quite often it was pretty even and then at certain moments I was able to do better. To beat Nico will be hard and difficult, but I have quite a lot of trust in myself."
Alex in Chester via text:
"RE: 0817 - And of course that famous day in March '83 at Long Beach when the McLaren's qualified 21st and 22nd, and finished first and second - a 1-2 from 17th and 20th should be a piece of cake, then!"
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali on BBC One:
"Yesterday we gave our competitors a great present for Easter. Let's make sure we do not do it again today or in the future. For sure that is unacceptable. We are hoping not to finish the race in the same positions. It's better to be cautious and not do stupid things, we need to get in a good position so we are ready if the rain comes."
Vin on 606:
"They're always trying to "spice up" F1, and discussing different ideas of things to try to make it more interesting, and less predictable. Now obviously, a wet track can change everything. I wonder if anybody has ever put forward the idea of artificially making the track wet."
0827: Force India's Adrian Sutil
- sporting the coolest pair of shades I've ever seen - has also been chatting on BBC One:
"It was quite hard on Saturday, sometimes raining more and sometimes less, the track drying up very quickly. It was difficult to find the right tyre for the circuit. It was a lottery but we did very well. Today our aim is to achieve points. The car has potential, the car is fast. I feel good and don't see why we shouldn't achieve our aims today. I'll try to keep it nice and steady in first corner and keep my position. The race is long, nothing can be won in the first corner."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Kuala Lumpur:
"Nico Rosberg, who lines up in second for Mercedes, wants the stewards to listen to the drivers if heavy rain falls during the race. Last year the race was red-flagged with only 31 laps run because of concerns over driver safety. Rosberg warned: 'I said (during qualifying) 'you have to stop this because it's undriveable.' It's important to get those calls as early as possible to race control as it's difficult for them to judge how it is in the car. You have to coast around here at 50kph (31mph) to avoid coming off the track.'"
0822: McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh
has been speaking to the boys on BBC One
- taking time out of his team's rain dance: "We are hoping for some rain frankly - the last time we were this far back we won the race (Kimi Raikkonen in the Japanese GP in 2005 from 17th), but at the moment there is not as much rain on the radar as we would like but we hope it comes."
f1fanatic_co_uk on Twitter:
"Adrian Sutil's a good dark horse for a win today if the Red Bulls hit trouble. The VJM03's handy but he hasn't finished yet."
Now then, with a host of big names near the back of the grid, how realistic - I hear you ask - are their chances of victory? Well the driver who has won from furthest back on the grid is Northern Irishman John Watson, who took the chequered flag in the 1983 US Grand Prix West at Long Beach after starting 22nd. It's difficult to imagine that's going to be broken today - the furthest back a front-runner is starting is Felipe Massa's Ferrari in 21st. Behind him are the Hispanias of Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi's Virgin. Exactly.
MikeGascoyne on Twitter:
"No rain for next 30 mins. Clouds look different to last couple of days and less chance of rain at the moment, much less rain on the radar than this time yesterday. Can change quickly though."
JohnUK via text:
"Now we will see just how good Button is because his team mate is a master at overtaking, Button had no answer to Hamilton overtaking him last week in Australia. Lewis to get a podium and Jenson to be around 8th. Go Lewis."
BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard in Sepang:
"The weather forecast is for the same as Saturday. And Friday and all the other days we've been here this week - namely that rain is expected at around the time of the race. Because qualifying was wet, there is no restriction on tyre choice. If the grand prix starts on a dry track, most drivers will almost certainly start on the softer of the two tyre compounds - it is the quicker tyre and it will easily last for the required 20 or so laps on full tanks. Bridgestone have warned the drivers not to take any big gambles in terms of switching straight from wet tyres to ungrooved slicks on a slippery track - the Japanese company believe that will not work, and that intermediates will have to be used for any period of greasy conditions/light rain."
sarahholtf1 on Twitter:
"I heard on the grapevine Alonso was very happy at dinner last night. He's 19th on the grid but thinks his car is so good he can climb higher."
Right - let me hit you with some knowledge. This Sepang circuit is 5.543km/3.444 miles long, we'll have 56 laps, meaning the race distance is 310.408km/192.878 miles. The lap record is held by Juan Pablo Montoya, whose 1min 34.223secs was set in 2004. Located 85km from Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, the circuit was built on a former 260-hectare oil palm plantation and, with 75,000 covered seats to shield fans from the sun, it holds the most seats in F1. But then you all knew that, right?
ClaireVWilliams on Twitter:
"Looking like rain later on in the race, it's brilliant sunshine here now. Option the strongest tyre here. Less than an hour to go!"
MikeGascoyne on Twitter:
"One hour to go, getting ready to get set up on the pit wall. Has been manic with guests in the garage but now time to get focused."
Right - air guitars ready - our BBC One coverage is imminent. A reminder that if you're watching this on your teleboxes, we'll ask you to switch to BBC Two at 1000 BST as there will be a live Eucharist for Easter Day from Winchester Cathedral on BBC One at that time. You won't miss a thing, though, with our overlapped commentary - and, of course, the whole thing is streamed above. Jubbly.
Dave from Adelaide, south Oz, via text:
"Vettel to make the best getaway. Webber crashes into him at turn 3. Rosberg wins. EJ announces Shumies retirment."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Kuala Lumpur:
"McLaren held their hands up and said they got it wrong by not sending Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton out to nail qualifying 'bankers' before heavy rain washed out their first session. Button lines up in 17th ahead of Hamilton in 20th but the team reckon they can claw back position. 'We have to look forward to an eventful race,' said team boss Martin Whitmarsh. 'When we were 17th in Suzuka in 2005 (Kimi Raikkonen) won that race.' Button added: 'To fight for a win will be very difficult but if it's mixed up a bit we can have a good chance of fighting through the field.' Hamilton agreed: 'We're both quick in the wet and hopefully we can pick off some guys up front and get some points.'"
Martin, the flying Scotsman somewhere in Africa, via text:
"Currently sitting in my office with not a telly in sight for what could be a scintillating race! I'll have no nails left reading it on here!"
So, as if there wasn't enough to keep you occupied in and around the track on race day, everyone is keeping at least half a peeper on the weather forecasts. According to
our man Ian Fergusson,
the risk of wet weather at some stage of the race is around 70%, which should make things more than a little interesting - as long, of course, as we don't have a repeat of
last year's abandonment.
There is far too much potential for incident and excitement for that, please.
CedlidhDickson on Twitter:
"I believe Hamilton gets a hard time and the fact this race is due to involve more tyre changes than OZ it will suit him more."
sarahholtf1 on Twitter:
"Lotus had pix of drivers' signing session & it was crazy! 100s of fans turned out. Did having the two Ferraris drivers there affect things?"
CroftyF1 on Twitter:
"Sunshine and clouds here in Sepang as the drivers come out for the parade They're all being interviewed by little children on the grid sweet."
Highlights - Malaysian GP qualifying
So, a brief recap of where we
stand on the grid.
Well, the rain made things complicated for a few teams,
in particular Ferrari and McLaren.
Their mistimed runs are the reason we have a stack of title contenders at the back, while Red Bull and Mercedes got their timings just about right to sit pretty. In between, we have a hot-pot of potential surprises.
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Kuala Lumpur:
"Welcome back to sunny Sepang where, as you well know by now, the rain may well have the final say in how the race is won. Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone tells me he's commanded the heavens to open at exactly 1615 here (0915 BST) as he looks forward to a dry-wet-dry race over 56 laps. A topsy-turvy qualifying sees both Ferraris and McLarens among the backmarkers on the grid and watching them try to weave their way back to the front should be as fascinating as the forecast."
PompeyCanuck on Twitter:
"It should be a great race. With the top drivers all over the grid, there should be lots of passing attempts."
mike_in_Beijing on Twitter:
"The opening laps are going to be chaos. Hamilton will make history winning this one from 20th on the grid. Wanna bet?"
Marcus in Northampton via text:
"Both Red Bulls to have mechanical problems, Rosburg to have a shocker, Schuey to master the rain and take the win, Sutil second, Button third with an inspirational drive from the back of the grid!! Well come on, anything's possible today! Isn't it?"
And while you're kicking back, I want you to get involved in a big, big way. I'm thinking texts via 81111
(UK) or +44 7786200666
(worldwide), I'm thinking
and I'm thinking, making its debut this race weekend,
We're opening the doors early at 0800 BST for your debating pleasure, so ladies and gents, the floor is yours.
MikeGascoyne on Twitter:
"Latest forecast same as every day, hot and humid with showers later on, nothing more accurate at this stage."
what's the plan of action?
Well I am here, now and for the foreseeable, that's clearly your biggest concern. Otherwise, our BBC One coverage - streamed on this very website for UK users, of course - kicks off at 0800 BST, along with BBC Radio 5 Live. After the race you can stick us on the website or check out the Red Button for our Post-Race Forum, which will have all the action and reaction from today's race. In short, grab a cuppa, put your feet up, and enjoy.
NobleF1 on Twitter:
"A little bit cooler today - only 29 degrees - but clouds building up earlier than yesterday at Sepang."
redbullf1spy on Twitter:
"The drivers done their signing session. Malaysians win the Most Fanatical Fan Award this season so far. Mark (Webber) and Seb (Vettel) as rock stars?"
sarahholtf1 on Twitter:
"Morning! It's a steamy, sunny morning in Malaysia, but F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone tells me he has ordered rain for 1615 local time. Jolly good."