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Live Event Coverage

Grand Prix from Malaysia - Formula 1 World Championship 2012

Published by Christine

Lewis Hamilton starts his second race in a row from pole position, but will be keeping a wary eye on the driver beside him - as teammate Jenson Button lines up second. The battle down the long straight into the first corner will be the key to the entire race, and will make for a fascinating start. We've also got the ever-present threat of rain hanging over the Sepang circuit, along with some great potential for battles throughout the field. Make your last minute predictions, as the Malaysian Grand Prix is about to get going.

As it happened: 2012 Malaysia - The Race

  • 08:30

    Hello, welcome to the Factbyte Factbox for the Malaysian Grand Prix! There's rain on the way!

  • 08:30

    Eh-hem, sorry, as I mentioned yesterday, keeping an eye on the skies is key here in Malaysia, and there's talk of rain.

  • 08:31

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: The large shower located in the Northeast at 10 Km is moving towards the circuit.High probability of rain before the beginning of the race.

  • 08:32
    Circuit Data
    Sepang International
    Local timezone+0800 GMT
    First race1999
    Number of laps56
    Circuit length5.543km
    Race distance310.408km
    Start offset0.000km
  • 08:33

    Clouds over SepangThe clouds roll in, via @MyCaterhamF1.

  • 08:33

    Lewis Hamilton starts from pole position today, and will face off against his teammate in a battle down to the first corner. Just like Australia!

  • 08:34

    RadioTeam radio to Rosberg: "The rain's coming Nico, it'll be between turns 6 and 7."

  • 08:36
    Grid Position
    1L HamiltonMcLaren
    2J ButtonMcLaren
    3M SchumacherMercedes
    4M WebberRed Bull
    5S Vettel
    Red Bull
    6R GrosjeanLotus
    7N RosbergMercedes
    8F AlonsoFerrari
    9S PérezSauber
    10K RäikkönenLotus
  • 08:37

    Interview with Christian Horner: "There's a lot of rain in the area at the moment, it looks like it's going to rain at some point, it's just a question of when. We know the McLarens are very strong, the Lotus are strong, the single lap pace of Mercedes has been impressive. We need a good first lap, and then hopefully we can take the fight to the McLarens. We know they're going to be strong today.

    "We didn't feel we could get on the front row doing the same thing as the McLaren's, we opted to go a different route. It was something Sebastian was keen to do, but of course, if you start on wet tyres, it's the same for everyone."

  • 08:37

    To clarify, Sebastian Vettel is starting on the hard tyres, after qualifying on the harder compound compared to everyone else's medium.

  • 08:39

    Interview with Mark Webber: "It's always one or the other here, scorchio or absolutely lashing down. We don't know how hard it's going to rain, the grip here is the biggest challenge... of course, you can smell the rain coming, so it feels like we're going to get it.

    "Clearly I want to do well off the start, it's a very important part of the race, but you have to be mindful it's a very long Grand Prix. Whoever finishes the first lap in what order is not necessarily how we're going to finish the race, particularly if there's weather around."

  • 08:40

    Regarding the starting order, Kimi has a five place grid drop for changing his gearbox, he qualified fifth but starts tenth.

  • 08:43

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: It is officially spitting with rain in Sepang. 18 mins till the off.

  • 08:45

    If you're watching the race, do join the comments over on Sidepodcast: Currently conversation about Nick Fry's beard, and Christian Horner as a Doctor Who villain.

  • 08:46

    Interview with Grosjean: "Weather is turning right now, so it's going to be an interesting start. I think the team is doing a very good job, both cars in Q3, both cars competitive. I think with a little bit more running, we could have fought for more on the grid."

    "It's clearly coming and I think it's going to be a hard one, I don't know much but it's going to be raining."

  • 08:47

    The National Anthem is playing out across the circuit now.

  • 08:48

    If you want more live data than you can shake a stick at, there's live timing: live text from Autosport: and the BBC:

  • 08:49

    Interview with Martin Whitmarsh: "I think if you're at the front, it's an advantage to some extent if it's wet. But you're just throwing a dice really. We'd rather have a dry, processional race, with clean off the grid. But I think it's going to be more exciting than that."

  • 08:50

    TweetTweet from @ManipeF1: Rain falling. Change in climatic conditions declared. Hopefully they won't have to use the safety car for the start. #F1

  • 08:51

    Umbrellas are going up in the grandstands. Everyone is pensive to see if it will get much harder before the start. Ten minutes to go.

  • 08:51

    There's plenty of action surrounding Vettel's car. Helmut Marko is looking concerned as mechanics frantically adjust something in the cockpit, maybe the seat?

  • 08:54
    Fastest Session Times
    Free Practice 1Hamilton
    Free Practice 2Hamilton1:38.172
    Free Practice 3Rosberg1:36.877
  • 08:54

    Charlie Whiting is looking as though he has a lot running through his mind, as he stands in Race Control looking out at the conditions.

  • 08:55

    TweetTweet from @Lotus_F1Team: Fat lazy drops of rain falling as we sit on the grid, the hot track is evaporating them off, but it's sure slippery out there...

  • 08:56



    Wind speed4.4mps
  • 08:56

    Live timing has reset, we've got just a few minutes to go now until the Malaysian Grand Prix gets underway!

  • 08:57

    Vettel looks like he's in the car comfortably now, panic over. He wipes some droplets of rain off his visor as he waits for the start.

  • 09:00

    The grid clears, tyre blankets off, all the cars have their rain lights on. It's like a disco on the grid as they wait for the formation lap.

  • 09:01

    Lewis Hamilton leads them away, as they get their first taste of the tarmac in changeable conditions.

  • 09:01

    At the back, Pedro de la Rosa is being pushed off the grid as he fails to start the formation lap.

  • 09:02

    It looks as though everyone is on intermediate tyres, with the two HRTs on full wets. Webber seems to be on the mediums, with Vettel on hards. Odd choice from Red Bull!

  • 09:02

    Actually, scratch that, information suggests they are ALL on intermediates. No odd choice from Red Bull.

  • 09:03 Lap 1

    Green flagRace started.

  • 09:03 Lap 1

    Hamilton has had a great start, Grosjean closes up to Schumacher, but it's Webber who loses positions at the start.

  • 09:04 Lap 1

    Grosjean does make it past the Mercedes into third, and Webber closes up behind Schumacher as well.

  • 09:04 Lap 1

    Schumacher has spun, causing a yellow flag.

  • 09:04 Lap 1

    The yellow flag clears as Schumacher continues onwards, but he is way down the order now.

  • 09:04 Lap 2

    The rain is falling considerably now!

  • 09:05 Lap 2



    Wind speed2.8mps
  • 09:05 Lap 2

    Hamilton retains his lead from Button, with Webber and Vettel next.

  • 09:06 Lap 2

    Pérez has come into the pit lane early. It looks like they are changing his tyres.

  • 09:06 Lap 2

    Bruno Senna has also pitted.

  • 09:06 Lap 2

    It looks as though Pérez bolted on the full wet tyres.

  • 09:06 Lap 3

    RadioTeam radio to Button: "It's raining very hard in the pitlane. How are these tyres?"

    "Okay for now."

  • 09:07 Lap 3

    Replays show it was a great first corner, clean start all round. It was after that the problems began!

  • 09:08 Lap 3

    Paul di Resta is the next driver to react, and pits from 16th place.

  • 09:08 Lap 3

    Grosjean is also way down the order, after the highs of third place in the first few corners, he's now down to 18th.

  • 09:09 Lap 3

    Replays suggest through the spray, Grosjean spun and crashed into Schumacher, hence them both being so far down the order.

  • 09:10 Lap 4

    Felipe Massa has pitted from tenth place. Di Resta put on the full wet tyres, is that Ferrari's plan too? It is indeed.

  • 09:10 Lap 4

    These drivers with the full wet tyres on are dropping down the order, but are hoping the weather will play into their hands.

  • 09:11 Lap 4

    Both Marussia drivers came into the pits at the same time, Pic following Glock in for the wet tyres.

  • 09:11 Lap 4

    Romain has beached his car in the gravel, yellow flags for the rest, race over for him.

  • 09:12 Lap 4

    Everyone is diving into the pitlane now, we have Alonso, Button and Hülkenberg changing their tyres.

  • 09:12 Lap 4

    Both Caterhams, plus Daniel Ricciardo. Full wets all round.

  • 09:13 Lap 5

    RadioTeam radio from Hamilton: "Starting to aquaplane."

  • 09:14 Lap 5

    Lewis has stayed out on the intermediate tyres for as long as possible, but with Button on the harder tyres, he's opted to make the change as well.

  • 09:15 Lap 5

    Hamilton manages to keep his lead on the race, coming out in front of Button.

  • 09:15 Lap 5

    Both Red Bull drivers, Rosberg and Maldonado have all pitted. The pit lane is crazy busy.

  • 09:16 Lap 5

    The two McLaren drivers are following each other closely, streams of water kicking up of the back of each. I don't much fancy Button's visibility right now.

  • 09:16 Lap 6

    All drivers are on full wet tyres now, bar Jean-Éric Vergne who is on intermediates still.

  • 09:17 Lap 6

    SC BoardSafety car deployed.

  • 09:17 Lap 6

    Red flagSession stopped.

  • 09:18 Lap 6

    No Red Flag. Live timing lies.

  • 09:18 Lap 6

    There is a Safety Car though. I can see it.

  • 09:18 Lap 7

    Yellow flagYellow flag. This is the correct flag.

  • 09:19 Lap 7

    So. Relax! The Safety Car is out because it is very, very wet. There is lightning, and power cuts across the circuit.

  • 09:19 Lap 7

    Just before the SC was deployed, Button was on the radio complaining it was like a lake out there.

  • 09:21 Lap 8

    Interview with Grosjean: "I was there, I was careful, unfortunately I think Schumacher came to hit me. At turn four, I spun. At that point the race was bad, but then the rain came. I think Kimi was pitting, we couldn't fit both cars into the pits. I had to stay out on inters.

    "The visibility, there was no visibility. It was really difficult, we couldn't even go flat out in the straights. Very disappointing, because I think we could have had a good result here."

  • 09:22 Lap 8

    It is absolutely pouring down, and still Jean-Éric Vergne is on the intermediate tyre.

  • 09:23 Lap 8

    RadioTeam radio to Hamilton: "Current estimation is this weather could last for another thirty minutes."

  • 09:23 Lap 8

    Narain Karthikeyan is up in tenth place at the moment, as he started on the full wet tyres.

  • 09:24 Lap 8

    Red flagSession stopped.

  • 09:24

    This REALLY IS a red flag. I promise.

  • 09:25

    The cars will make their way back to the home straight and pull to a stop.

  • 09:25

    Race Control: Race suspended.

  • 09:26

    We've situations like this before, and the FIA put in new regulations to deal with it. People can change their tyres without penalty - ie. Vergne.

  • 09:26

    The "race" can only go on for four hours, although I'm sure we're all hoping that doesn't happen!

  • 09:27

    The cars are parked up on the grid, mechanics piling back in to tend to their machinery.

  • 09:29

    Hamilton on the gridHamilton halts on the grid in P1.

  • 09:30

    People are starting to mention the fact that if this is an extended delay, there is always the issue with sunset creeping closer. The daylight does not last forever.

  • 09:32
    Driver Positions
  • 09:32

    McLaren have taken a cue from Mercedes in Canada last year, and have put up a temporary awning over their cars to try and keep them, and the drivers, dry.

  • 09:33

    Ferrari also have a gazebo, and plenty of the fans looking on had the foresight to bring tents.

  • 09:35
    Driver Positions
    122Di Resta1
    175De la Rosa0
  • 09:37

    Replays show after Grosjean and Schumacher came together, Senna clipped the back of Maldonado and tipped himself into a spin.

  • 09:37

    TweetTweet from @EliGP: So F1 teams can think of every single high-tech solution to gain a tenth, but only two thought of the tents to protect their cars from rain

  • 09:40

    Interview with McLaren's Jonathan Neale: "In situations like this, forecasting is nigh on impossible... So we're hugely relying on the drivers themselves. Jenson went to come in for the wets... Lewis was happy, and I think he was happy to do another lap, but then he started aquaplaning and then it was time to call it a day and bring him in.

    "Lewis has always had a really good feel for where there's grip and where there isn't. But again, Jenson reads the situation well, he made a really good cool.

    "Looking at this rain and the way it's settling at the moment, we've just said to the drivers if you want to hop out for five minutes, do so, but we want you back on the grid quickly."

  • 09:41

    QuoteComment from Steven Roy: Why would anyone be running their engine now? Just burning excess fuel?

  • 09:41

    There is the high pitched whine of an engine running. Hard to say who is the culprit though.

  • 09:45

    Felipe Massa is still on the grid, but out of the car, sipping from his drinks bottle and huddling under an umbrella.

  • 09:46

    Nico Hülkenberg and Heikki Kovalainen are resting against the wall, chatting with their engineers. Jean-Éric Vergne is sitting against that same wall.

  • 09:46

    Nico Rosberg is changing his race boots, presumably he got his feet a bit damp in all the madness.

  • 09:48

    Petrov listens intently to a man in a Pirelli waterproof jacket. It's still looking very wet out there.

  • 09:53

    The rain is easing off now, but there's plenty of standing water still out there. The drivers will also get a ten minute warning before the restart.

  • 09:56

    Paul di Resta has joined Nico Hülkenberg and they're having a good old chat. Meanwhile, Rob Smedley is chatting with Massa and his manager Nicolas Todt.

  • 09:57

    The medical car is doing a lap, checking out the state of the tarmac.

  • 10:00

    Via @Lotus_F1Team: Should we try to send @RGrosjean back out in the race? (You're not supposed to, but there's a lot of spray out there...)

  • 10:02

    Pérez is still in the car, he leans back and closes his eyes, trying to relax.

  • 10:02

    Race Control: Race will be resumed at 17:15 behind the Safety Car - wet tyre must be fitted.

  • 10:03

    TweetTweet from @eddstrawF1: All cars will start on Vergne gets a free switch to wets!

  • 10:05

    Interview with Monisha Kaltenborn: "It's too early to say anything, it's far too early in the race. A little bit of luck you always need, it's not always about figures and smart decisions. We were told that it's going to stay for a few more minutes like this, then subside a little. It's a bit of a guess going on at the moment.

    "Our drivers are standing somewhere down the grid. I know Kamui was out of the car, last time I checked Sergio was still in the car. Maybe with Checo we have to watch out a bit more, being a bit more temperamental, but it's very important when they restart that they keep their calm."

  • 10:05

    Pérez is temperamental, eh? Unusual for a team boss to admit such things!

  • 10:06
  • 10:08

    Just about seven minutes to go until the restart. The Safety Car is waiting patiently at the head of the grid, and the drivers are putting their helmets back on in preparation.

  • 10:10

    All the tents are now gone from the grid, we are tent-free!

  • 10:12

    RadioTeam radio to Rosberg: "We're not expecting any more heavy rain. There's light rain at the moment. Basically we need to decide how soon to go to inter tyres."

  • 10:12

    Kimi Räikkönen was also on the radio with his team, the Lotus car has a problem with KERS, but with the conditions, they may not be using it anyway.

  • 10:13

    TweetTweet from @MyCaterhamF1: Tyre warmers disconnected, trolleys now heading back as the restart approaches

  • 10:13

    Race Control: DRS disabled.

  • 10:15 Lap 9

    Yellow flagRacing begins again! 47 laps to go.

  • 10:16 Lap 9

    They are away, safely, behind the Safety Car. Lewis Hamilton leads them round.

  • 10:16 Lap 9

    The live timing shows some fabulous 52 minute laps, as they didn't cross the start/finish line until the restart.

  • 10:17 Lap 9

    Despite Lotus' jokes, Grosjean did not restart the race. He is the only retiree at the moment.

  • 10:19 Lap 11

    RadioTeam radio to Button: "At the moment, we expect the rain to clear for the remainder of the race. Keep warming the rear brakes."

  • 10:19 Lap 11

    Race Control: Incident involving Pedro de la Rosa under investigation - team personnel on the grid.

  • 10:20 Lap 11

    TweetTweet from @EliGP: Maylander is good. No mistakes despite Hamilton's pressure

  • 10:20 Lap 11

    There's a dry line starting to appear at certain places around the track, and the standing water seems to have cleared.

  • 10:21 Lap 11

    Drivers are starting to feed back that they are ready to restart, the Safety Car shouldn't be out there too much longer.

  • 10:22 Lap 12

    TweetTweet from @OfficialSF1Team: No tyre changes allowed under SC! As soon as SC goes in teams have the possibility to change to intermediates!

  • 10:22 Lap 12

    Mechanics are on their knees in the pitlane, drying up as much of the boxes as they can.

  • 10:23 Lap 12

    They have heaters and towels, brooms and anything they can get their hands on.

  • 10:23 Lap 12

    No sign of the Safety Car coming in this lap.

  • 10:24 Lap 13

    Race Control: Safety car in this lap.

  • 10:26 Lap 13

    Green flagSafety Car is gone, the restart is on.

  • 10:26 Lap 13

    Hamilton backed everyone up, Pérez had to avoid the back of Jenson Button. It's close on the restart.

  • 10:27 Lap 13

    Jenson Button dives straight into the pitlane. Rosberg also heads pitwards.

  • 10:27 Lap 14

    Rosberg returns to the track, but falls behind his teammate. Schumacher 13th, Rosberg 14th.

  • 10:28 Lap 14

    The Red Bull boys are also fighting with each other, Webber up in 3rd, Vettel must have passed Alonso for fourth.

  • 10:28 Lap 14

    Schumacher radio confirms he thinks it's time for intermediate tyres.

  • 10:28 Lap 14

    Hamilton has also jumped into the pitlane, as does Alonso and Webber.

  • 10:28 Lap 14

    Sergio Pérez leads! And he's also set the fastest lap of the race so far.

  • 10:29 Lap 15

    There's a problem with Hamilton's stop, Alonso managed to get past him and Button will also jump him.

  • 10:29 Lap 15

    They're all piling into the pitlane now. Nine cars!

  • 10:30 Lap 15

    CrashAccident between Jenson Button and Narain Karthikeyan!

  • 10:31 Lap 15

    Button went to pass the HRT car, and clipped his front wing. He'll have to trundle his way back to the pit lane again.

  • 10:31 Lap 16

    More pitting, Pérez, Vettel, Vergne and Hülkenberg come in from their front-running positions.

  • 10:31 Lap 16

    Button has made it back to the pits, and Karthikeyan also heads there.

  • 10:32 Lap 16

    Replays show it was not a great move from Button, barging his way past the HRT.

  • 10:33 Lap 16

    Live timing is taking a while to catch up (don't blame it!) but Fernando Alonso is leading, with Pérez second.

  • 10:33 Lap 16

    That temperamental Mexican, up in second place.

  • 10:34 Lap 16

    Button is down in 21st place, between Maldonado and Pic. Bad day!

  • 10:34 Lap 16

    We missed a race control message from earlier, Pedro de la Rosa got a drive through penalty for the team personnel on the grid.

  • 10:36 Lap 18
    Driver Positions
    Di Resta2
  • 10:37 Lap 18

    Jenson Button sets the fastest lap of the race so far, he's now sitting in 20th place with Maldonado to chase.

  • 10:37 Lap 19

    That was a mad few minutes, but things have calmed down a little now. The track is clearing, the spray is still tricky though.

  • 10:38 Lap 19

    TweetTweet from @MercedesAMGF1: Nico asked to look after his tyres as no more rain is expected #F1 #sepang

  • 10:39 Lap 19

    Daniel Ricciardo beautifully flies round the outside of Bruno Senna, blasting through the wet line on his intermediates to take 14th place.

  • 10:39 Lap 20

    Race Control: DRS enabled.

  • 10:40 Lap 20

    Down the order, we have Petrov leading Kovalainen by a couple of seconds, Glock sits ahead of Maldonado, and Button still can't seem to get past the Williams.

  • 10:40 Lap 20

    Pic sits 21st, whilst Karthikeyan leads De La Rosa at the very back.

  • 10:41 Lap 20

    Romain Grosjean is still the only retired driver at the moment.

  • 10:41 Lap 20

    HRT PitstopHRT move into action during their pit stop earlier, via @HRTF1Team.

  • 10:42 Lap 21

    Interview with Jonathan Neale: "There's a long way to go in this race... there's a lot can happen. Bear in mind we were here in Canada as well. Jenson's got the speed and the car underneath him. But yes, not ideal."

  • 10:44 Lap 21

    Button is complaining vociferously on the radio about his tyres, the fronts are shuddering, he's losing grip in the rear. The team are looking into it.

  • 10:46 Lap 23

    Sebastian Vettel overtakes Rosberg for fourth place, holding off the Mercedes from any comeback.

  • 10:47 Lap 23

    Replays show Vettel closing the gap to Rosberg down the main straight, and with DRS enabled, Nico had no chance to hold off the Red Bull.

  • 10:47 Lap 24

    Notably, Rosberg is still on the full wet tyres. Along with Räikkönen behind him in sixth.

  • 10:48 Lap 24

    Actually, Räikkönen has made exactly the same move on Rosberg for fifth place.

  • 10:48 Lap 24
    Gap Analysis
  • 10:49 Lap 24

    Webber is next in line to overtake Rosberg, and he's closed up behind the Mercedes. Looking threatening now.

  • 10:49 Lap 24
    Recent Lap Times
    F Alonso
    Lap 162:01.920
    Lap 172:02.119
    Lap 182:01.926
    Lap 192:01.425
    Lap 202:01.322
    Lap 212:01.407
    Lap 222:00.921
    Lap 232:00.723
    Lap 242:00.416
  • 10:50 Lap 25

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: It is raining again in T4

  • 10:50 Lap 25

    Button has come into the pits again, that's his fourth stop of the day. New tyres bolted on, more intermediates for McLaren.

  • 10:51 Lap 25

    Webber has taken the position from Rosberg. He's up to sixth, Nico keeps on falling backwards.

  • 10:52 Lap 26

    RadioTeam radio to Massa: "Rosberg is struggling now, let's try and catch him."

  • 10:53 Lap 26
    Championship Prediction
  • 10:54 Lap 27

    Rosberg has finally given up and comes into the pitlane. Which tyres will he put on?

  • 10:54 Lap 27

    Epic battling between Felipe Massa and Jean-Éric Vergne, Massa had the position but Vergne wasn't about to sit back and let it go. He grabbed his position back.

  • 10:55 Lap 27

    Replays show it was Massa messing up his braking at the corner, that lost him a couple of places.

  • 10:56 Lap 28

    Massa has come into the pitlane, clearly unhappy with losing so many positions in one go!

  • 10:56 Lap 28

    Paul di Resta, Jean-Éric Vergne, Bruno Senna and Nico Hülkenberg make up the final few points positions. Schumacher is hunting them down in 11th.

  • 10:57 Lap 28

    Button sets the fastest lap of the race so far, dipping under the two minute mark. He's still way back in 19th though.

  • 10:58 Lap 29

    Halfway through the race now, plenty still to come!

  • 11:00 Lap 30
    One to Watch
  • 11:01 Lap 30

    It was one to watch only briefly, as Kobayashi makes the pass, round the outside, and moves up to 11th.

  • 11:02 Lap 30

    Alonso continues to lead, moving ahead by seven seconds to Pérez in second. Sergio doing a great job.

  • 11:03 Lap 31

    RadioTeam radio to Webber: "Possibly a shower coming in five or ten minutes Mark, coming in at turn three."

  • 11:03 Lap 31

    Button is currently sitting 18th, his forward progress is not perhaps what we, and McLaren, would like to see.

  • 11:05 Lap 33

    Kobayashi set the fastest lap, then Alonso beat it, then Pérez. The Saubers are certainly fast out there today!

  • 11:08 Lap 34

    Interview with Paul Hembery: "The track is drying rapidly, you can see now the tyres are dropping as well. Intermediate is a tyre that has to do well in mixed conditions. You have issues with overheating, which is why you see the drivers searching for water to keep the compound heat down. We haven't seen the medium tyre in the dry conditions. Some of the teams will have to make a brave decision, the crossover point is coming up. I would think 1:52 or 53, some of them would want to put the slick tyre on.

    "It's looking like there is a risk of rain, there's a few splatters coming on again. We've got 22 laps to go, it's not finished yet. It is starting to look a bit dusky, the sun is getting very low in the sky, let's hope we can get those 20 laps in before it disappears."

  • 11:09 Lap 34
    Driver Positions
    77Di Resta2
  • 11:09 Lap 35

    Jenson Button has moved up to 17th, chasing Felipe Massa for the next place. Massa also having a bad day!

  • 11:11 Lap 35

    Button makes the position around the outside of the Ferrari, and Ricciardo closes up to Massa as well.

  • 11:11 Lap 35

    Pérez is speeding his way back up towards Fernando Alonso in the lead, the gap is less than five seconds.

  • 11:12 Lap 35
    Top Speeds
    Sector 1Di Resta277kph
    Sector 2Kobayashi135kph
    Sector 3Räikkönen266kph
    Speed trapRicciardo297kph
  • 11:13 Lap 36

    RadioTeam radio to Webber: "It's really touch and go with the rain, Mark, it's close, it's coming slowly. Try and keep this set going as long as you can."

  • 11:16 Lap 38
    Gap Analysis
  • 11:16 Lap 38

    Daniel Ricciardo is pitting, and he's put the medium tyre on - the softer of the two options.

  • 11:16 Lap 38

    It's an early call for Toro Rosso, but someone had to do it! Everyone will be watching him to see what happens.

  • 11:17 Lap 39

    RadioTeam radio to Button: "Okay Jenson, good job, more rain is approaching, we need to get to the end of the race on this set of tyres."

  • 11:18 Lap 39

    Narain Karthikeyan and Felipe Massa have both pitted from the back of the field.

  • 11:18 Lap 39

    A bit of a gamble from Ferrari, but they don't really have much to lose with Massa.

  • 11:19 Lap 39

    Pérez has now cut the gap to Alonso to just 1.3 seconds. DRS may come into play soon!

  • 11:19 Lap 40

    QuoteComment from rethymno racer: Perez really fired up after Monisha Kaltenborn's comments: "Me temperamental, I'll show you what I can do"

  • 11:19 Lap 40

    Di Resta, Kobayashi, Maldonado and Schumacher all coming in to the pit lane for new tyres.

  • 11:19 Lap 40

    Webber has also pitted.

  • 11:20 Lap 40

    Daniel Ricciardo sets the fastest lap, showing the tyre call was right. 1:49.800.

  • 11:20 Lap 40

    Fernando Alonso comes into the pits from the lead, promoting Pérez into the lead. But surely the Sauber will have to stop soon?

  • 11:21 Lap 41

    Vettel comes in for his new tyres, from fourth place. Räikkönen comes in from fifth.

  • 11:22 Lap 41

    Looks like Red Bull released Vettel just as Kimi was turning in to his box. Close enough to an unsafe release, but there will likely be no penalty.

  • 11:22 Lap 41

    Finally, Pérez comes into the pits for his tyres, as does Hamilton from first and second.

  • 11:23 Lap 42

    Fernando Alonso easily keeps his position as race leader.

  • 11:23 Lap 42

    Sergio Pérez remains in second place, with Lewis Hamilton keeping his third place position.

  • 11:23 Lap 42

    Mark Webber sets a new fastest lap, instantly beaten by Pastor Maldonado. The tyres are really coming into their own now.

  • 11:25 Lap 43
    R GrosjeanSpun into gravel4
  • 11:26 Lap 43

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: Alonso leads by 7.1 seconds from Perez after the latter lost five seconds with his stop a lap later than the leader. #F1

  • 11:26 Lap 43

    Pérez is still on form, though, catching up to Alonso again. The gap as it stands is 5.7 seconds.

  • 11:27 Lap 43

    Jean-Éric Vergne is running ninth, he has only stopped twice, as has Narain Karthikeyan down in 22nd.

  • 11:27 Lap 44

    Bruno Senna passes Di Resta to move up into 7th place.

  • 11:30 Lap 45
    One to Watch
    F Alonsovs.S Pérez
  • 11:31 Lap 46

    They're on different tyres, Alonso is on options (medium, white), Pérez on primes (hard, silver).

  • 11:31 Lap 46

    Just ten laps to go, epic battles at the front, but don't discount the fight for points further back.

  • 11:32 Lap 46

    Button is still fighting through the field, glacially slowly. He's just passed Rosberg for 15th.

  • 11:32 Lap 47

    Kobayashi causes brief yellow flags by running off track but rejoining successfully. He's currently running down in 16th.

  • 11:33 Lap 47

    Kamui comes into the pit lane for the fourth time of his afternoon, after that brief off.

  • 11:33 Lap 47

    The gap at the front is less than two seconds now.

  • 11:33 Lap 48

    Vettel has a left rear puncture, the tyre is completely shredded, debris flying everywhere.

  • 11:34 Lap 48

    Replays show Vettel made a pass on a backmarker, pulled in too early and the HRT's front wing clipped his rear left and caused the puncture.

  • 11:34 Lap 48

    The race leaders are navigating their way through shredded tyre debris - it's all over the place.

  • 11:35 Lap 48

    Pérez has the gap down to 0.9 seconds - so if he's in the right spot, then he can use the DRS.

  • 11:37 Lap 48

    Pérez was close enough for the DRS to activate, the lack of downforce helped him close the gap but it wasn't enough for the first corner. The battle continues. They're so close!

  • 11:38 Lap 50

    Pérez radio suggests he shouldn't do anything stupid, they need the position more than they need the win.

  • 11:38 Lap 51

    And now, Pérez has lost a heap of time on this lap. The gap has dropped to five seconds again.

  • 11:39 Lap 51

    Replays show he outbraked himself and missed the corner, running incredibly wide and lucky not to end up in the gravel.

  • 11:39 Lap 51

    Kimi Räikkönen has posted the fastest lap of the race. We're down to 1:41.040 now.

  • 11:39 Lap 51

    The battle looks like it's off now, but take nothing away from Pérez. Second is still incredible.

  • 11:40 Lap 52

    Five laps to go.

  • 11:42 Lap 53
    Lapped Cars
    PosDriverLaps Down
    22De la Rosa2
  • 11:45 Lap 55

    Pastor Maldonado's Williams is issuing smoke from the back, the engine looks like it's giving up again. He's putting oil all over the track.

  • 11:46 Lap 55

    This'll be the second time Pastor gives away a point or two in as many races.

  • 11:46 Lap 55

    The Williams driver comes into the pit lane, it's unlikely he'll get back out again.

  • 11:47 Lap 55

    Vettel radio confirms they are calling him into the pitlane, and want to retire the car. Then moments later: "Stay out, stay out!" Mixed signals!

  • 11:48 Lap 56

    Chequered flagFernando Alonso wins the Malaysian Grand Prix!

  • 11:49

    Pérez takes a fantastic second place, with Lewis Hamilton sliding across the line in third.

  • 11:49

    Peter Sauber looks plenty emotional on the pit wall, a great result for the team.

  • 11:50
    Race Winner
    DriverFernando Alonso
    Race time2:44:51.812
    Race distance310.408km
    Average speed112.969km/h
  • 11:52
    Driver Positions
    77Di Resta3
  • 11:53

    Pérez has pulled to a halt in the parc fermé area, he's taking his time getting out of the car, Button hurries over to clap him on the back.

  • 11:54

    Big hugs between Alonso and Stefano Domenicali, and equally big hugs between Alonso and Pérez.

  • 11:54

    Plenty of talk over whether those two will be teammates soon enough.

  • 11:55
    Gap Analysis
  • 11:56

    The Spanish national anthem rings out for Alonso, happy faces on the podium.

  • 11:57

    Brundle fact: "This race has never been won by anyone outside of seventh on the grid. Until today. Fernando Alonso started eighth."

  • 11:59

    Malaysia podiumThe podium threesome.

  • 12:01
    K Kobayashi
    R GrosjeanSpun into gravel4
  • 12:01

    Pastor Maldonado also retired, but had completed enough of the race to be classified. In fact, he finished ahead of Pic, and both HRT drivers.

  • 12:02

    TweetTweet from @MercedesAMGF1: Michael crosses the line in 10th place to secure one point for the team. Nico finishes in 13th place. A disappointing race in #sepang for us

  • 12:02

    TweetTweet from @Marussia_F1Team: Another double finish, the Caterham of KOV the meat in the @Marussia_F1Team sandwich. GLO 17 and PIC P20. Those MR01s just keep going

  • 12:03

    Good news for Williams, picking up those points for Senna's sixth place.

  • 12:04

    Press Conference Quotes - Fernando Alonso: "A big surprise today, the win. I think we were not competitive in Australia, or here, and our goal is to score as many points as possible. Unbelievable result, great job from the team. Trackside we maximised the potential in our hands. Today, keeping calm in some strange conditions, I think. Congratulations to the team, I think they deserved this victory. It's tough times for us at the moment, but this Sunday we will remember."

  • 12:05

    Press Conference Quotes - Sergio Pérez: "I definitely think so, I was catching Fernando towards the end of the race. I knew i had to get him soon. I was losing my front tyres with a lot of degradation, so it wasn't easy. Then I ran wide around a quick corner. I touched the kerb and went where it was completely wet. That was the win, probably. It was difficult to get Fernando, today the win was possible. The team has done an incredible job, especially with the first pit stop, it was the right moment. The pace was fantastic, we were really quick. I'm really happy for the team."

  • 12:06

    Press Conference Quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "I think we can be satisfied, definitely. Congratulations to Fernando and Sergio, both drove fantastically well. We would have liked to have more points this weekend but I can't really complain. I'm on the podium for the second week in a row. I feel fortunate I was able to stay out of trouble."

  • 12:07

    Press Conference Quotes - Fernando Alonso: "I think this changes nothing, to be honest. We are in a position we don't want to be, fighting to go into Q3, fighting to score points. Definitely in these first two races we have found ourselves off the pace. The goal was not to lose many points, I think we did the job trackside. This is the positive news about these first two races. But coming to China, Bahrain, there is stuff coming to improve the car, and this is the real job to do. I know the team is putting in a lot of effort, we trust each other. This win will make us very happy today, but it doesn't change our recommendation to improve the car and keep winning."

  • 12:10
    Championship Standings
    1Fernando Alonso35
    2Lewis Hamilton30
    3Jenson Button25
    4Mark Webber24
    5Sergio Pérez22
    6Sebastian Vettel18
    7Kimi Räikkönen16
    8Bruno Senna
    9Kamui Kobayashi7
    10Paul di Resta7
    11Jean-Éric Vergne4
    12Daniel Ricciardo2
    13Nico Hülkenberg2
    14Michael Schumacher1
  • 12:11

    The sun sets over SepangThe sun sets over Sepang.

  • 12:12
    Championship Standings
    2Red Bull42
    6Force India9
    8Toro Rosso
  • 12:13

    TweetTweet from @clubforce: Superb performance for @clubforce. P7 for @pauldirestaf1 and P9 for @NicoHulkenberg ! That's 8 valuable points from a busy afternoon!

  • 12:15
    2012 Race Wins
    1Fernando Alonso1
    2Jenson Button1
  • 12:16

    Next up, a couple of inter-team battle tables, highlighting the good and bad from the race. You'll never guess who we're starting with.

  • 12:17
    Inter-Team Battle
    Fernando Alonso1st
    Felipe Massa15th
  • 12:17
    Inter-Team Battle
    Lewis Hamilton3rd
    Jenson Button14th
  • 12:18

    On the slowing down lap, Button radioed the team to say: "That was a horrendous day at the office, sorry guys. I just didn't slow the car down enough with Karthikeyan. A terrible day."

    They replied: "Don't worry, there will be plenty more good days to come."

  • 12:19
    Inter-Team Battle
    Vitaly Petrov16th
    Heikki Kovalainen18th
  • 12:20

    That was another fascinating race, I call that two in a row. Great for Williams, Mercedes just seemed to vanish from their qualifying place. Force India doing a solid job but not spectacular to my eyes.

  • 12:20

    Sauber are super happy with their day, but Kobayashi is bound to be a bit frustrated with his afternoon. Meanwhile, Massa is looking more and more out of his depth as each session unfolds.

  • 12:22

    Overall, a good win for Alonso, although he seems still convinced the team are not competitive enough. And finally, a spectacular drive by Pérez after his boss called him temperamental. Will she ever live that down?

  • 12:23

    Thanks for joining me with this extended Factbyte Factbox today. It's been fabulous. Next time, we'll be watching the action in China, which is in three week's time. Do join!

  • 12:23

    That's all from me, thanks again, and stay cool, fact fans.

All content in the series Malaysia 2012

Lewis Hamilton starts his second race in a row from pole position, but will be keeping a wary eye on the driver beside him - as teammate Jenson Button lines up second. The battle down the long straight into the first corner will be the key to the entire race, and will make for a fascinating start. We've also got the ever-present threat of rain hanging over the Sepang circuit, along with some great potential for battles throughout the field. Make your last minute predictions, as the Malaysian Grand Prix is about to get going.
Caterham F1

Event start

09:00GMT +01:00

25 March 2012