Tweet from @sarahholtf1: I'm not silly enough to second guess the weather in Malaysia BUT there are some grey clouds gathering overhead with 1 hr til the race #bbcf1
If you're following along at home, why not join in the Sidepodcast comments? The super dashboard gives you all you need to know in one screen. https://sidepodcast.com/dashboard
But the direct thread has a poll too: https://sidepodcast.com/post/live-malaysia-2011-the-race
How many laps until the back markers are caught? Have your say and we'll round up the votes later.
If you missed any of the action yesterday, why not try a 60 second roundup? https://sidepodcast.com/news/sebastian-vettel-takes-pole-in-close-malaysia-qualifying
HRT managed to qualify yesterday, both cars sneaking in under the 107% stipulated time. Liuzzi finished ahead of Karthikeyan.
Michael Schumacher missed out on the top ten, with Rosberg lining up 9th on the grid. The Mercedes had a rear wing issue though - with it's aero compromised after being opened once.
With Vettel on top, followed by Hamilton, Webber, Button and Alonso in a distant fifth, we're looking at the same top five as Australia.
Tweet from @OfficialLRGP: Just about an hour until the start of the race and those clouds look like they could make for a fun race. I hear rain is forecast for 17:00.
Paul di Resta: "Adrian is very quick and I'm certainly finding it hard to maintain the speed, but I am starting from the bottom, working my way up. But I think yesterday was genuine, it was a very good lap... today is going to be a long race, it's going to be very hot, something new to me."
Paul starts 14th today, ahead of teammate Sutil, and seems to be keeping his expectations in check... if secretly pleased that he's outclassed Sutil twice in as many races now.
Let's get you set up with more information than you could possibly need.
Official live timing available here: http://www.formula1.com/live_timing/live_timing.html It's still showing quali results if you need a quick refresher, too.
Autosport Live will be ready to rock and roll shortly, and you can keep tabs on it here: http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/330
Both McLaren and Mercedes will be offering up their fancy live data - http://mclaren.com/formula1 and http://www.mercedes-gp.com/
Teams weren't all completely focused on the racing today, as this morning FOTA got together to discuss all things Formula One.
They agreed the structure of the organisation. Martin Whitmarsh will continue to head it up as chairman, with Eric Boullier stepping in as vice-chairman.
They also talked cost-cutting, amending the Resource Restriction Agreement and that pesky Concorde Agreement. Nothing groundbreaking as far as I can tell though.
|(data from Williams F1)|
|Fuel laptime penalty||0.4s/10kg|
|Pit lane loss||22s|
|Pit lane length||419m|
Tweet from @OfficialMGP: Half an hour to the race! Some very grey clouds lurking in the sky...
The Mercedes live data has fired up, so we now know that both Mercedes cars are on their way to the grid - Rosberg ahead of Schumacher.
Christian Horner: "The system has run well in practice and in the testing we've done with it. It's earned it's place on the car, and it's important we have it here... so far, so good. The McLaren's look more competitive here this weekend... it was a really exciting qualifying yesterday, I think it's going to be really tight in the race. It's going to be about getting the calls right, choosing the right tyres at the right time."
Rosberg is doing a second installation lap now. Promise not to go on and on about Mercedes all day.
Tweet from @AdamHayNicholls: The sky is looking a bit Ghostbusters here in Sepang. Give it a few minutes...
I've got some data from Brembo about the last turn on the circuit, we call it Turn 15 but they refer to it as Turn 9.
|(forecast data from Brembo)|
|Maximum pedal load||139kg|
Vitaly Petrov: "Our car looks very strong. I think the race will be very interesting, because you don't know what to expect from the weather, and you don't know what to expect from the tyres. I know some tricks around the circuit and the rain can help."
Petrov is starting eighth on the grid, and looking forward to passing some people through the race, so he says.
|(source Mercedes GP)|
|Gear changes||53 per lap|
Tweet from @autosportlive: The teams are busily preparing all types of tyres on the grid, with the weather looking ever more likely to interrupt the strategy plans."
|Free Practice 1||M Webber||1:37.651|
|Free Practice 2||M Webber||1:36.876|
|Free Practice 3||L Hamilton||1:36.340|
The BBC are showing a really great piece comparing Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton's qualifying laps side by side. Really good feature.
|Sepang International Circuit|
|Local timezone||+0800 GMT|
|Number of laps||56|
About eight minutes until the race begins now. It still looks dry at Sepang, but it's getting ever more hazy.
Ahead of the race, I've closed the poll and 36% of the votes suggest the backmarkers will be caught within ten laps. Unless the weather has something to say about that, of course.
The lap record at Sepang is held by Juan Pablo Montoya, who set it way back in 2004 in the Williams - a 1:34.223. It's unlikely we'll get near that today.
Live timing has reset. We're minutes away from the start now.
Tweet from @InfinitiGP: Just said a quick 'good luck' to Sebastian and he couldn't seem more relaxed. You'd never guess he was just about start a GP from pole #F1
Race Control confirm that DRS is disabled - it's not available for the first two laps of the race.
The cars head off for their formation lap.
All the drivers have got away from the grid cleanly. Will they be able to do so next time round?
The top ten are all starting on soft tyres, as they are the ones they qualified on.
David Coulthard reports that Mark Webber had radioed a problem to his engineers, and got the reply: "We can see it but we can't do anything about it yet." No clue what the problem is though.
Vettel had a great start, Webber got swamped as expected. Both Renaults have a great start.
Heidfeld up to second at the first corner!
Top five now: Vettel, Heidfeld, Hamilton, Button, Petrov.
Back of the field got away cleanly, no accidents or incidents to report yet.
Webber has slipped backwards to 10th place.
He passes Kobayashi for 9th place - but whatever problem he had has ruined the start of his race.
Vettel is pulling out a super gap at the front. Meanwhile, Massa is ahead of Alonso back in 6th and 7th.
Paul di Resta and Nico Rosberg are battling hard for 13th position.
Barrichello gets a puncture on the home straight, the worst possible place as he has to do an entire lap on the dodgy wheel.
Race Control confirm DRS is now enabled.
It also looks like a Force India has lost it's front wing - so there may have been a coming together with Rubens.
Start replays show Nick Heidfeld had a fantastic start, just heading straight as an arrow to the first corner.
Meanwhile, Webber's start wasn't so bad, it just lagged a little as others streamed past him.
He didn't use KERS off the start line which may have been the problem.
Barrichello has pitted, now last.
Rubens has been lapped now, so our backmarker watch is slightly ruined. 4 laps, not 10.
Comment from Steven Roy: Webber had KERS alarm on the pace lap
Adrian Sutil also pitted, so he is sitting just above Rubens in 23rd.
Team radio to Vettel: "There might be some drops over the circuit in the next half hour but we're not expecting any proper rain."
Petrov runs really wide, losing a position to Alonso, and allowing Schumacher to close up. Petrov now 7th.
Team radio to Schumacher: "We need you to start looking after the tyres. Expect some rain in five to ten minutes."
Tweet from @clubforce: Adrian pits for new front wing on lap 3 after collision
Webber took Kobayashi, but the Sauber managed to drive straight past at the end of the straight to take the position back.
Comment from RubberGoat: Vettel has a tyre vibration and radioed to the pits
Webber and Kobayashi are swapping position at almost every corner.
Tweet from @autosportlive: Hamilton is the fastest man through the first sector and is well-placed to use the DRS on Heidfeld on the main striaght.
Maldonado pits from 20th position.
Tweet from @MarussiaVirgin: No rain forecast now, but timo reporting spots of water on his visor
It looks like Maldonado has retired from the race.
For the second race in a row, he has disappeared into the garage, unseen by world feed cameras, and never returned.
Webber comes in for a quick and seemingly scheduled pit stop.
You can see Vettel's times are falling off lap by lap, it looks like the tyres are giving up already!
Immediately out of the pits, and on fresh tyres, Webber sets the fastest middle sector.
Paul di Resta pits.
|Jenson Button||vs.||Felipe Massa|
Hamilton pits from third.
Kobayashi has passed Michael Schumacher on the main straight.
Team radio from Hamilton: "It's raining down here."
Button, Massa and Vettel all pit.
Webber puts in the fastest lap of the race so far: 1:44.184.
We might be facing a bit of rain, but it should only be brief.
Alonso pits from the lead.
Heidfeld lost out big time in the first round of pit stops, he came in ahead of Hamilton, but returns behind Button.
Vettel is informed they are on Plan B.
Trulli locked his tyres passively coming out of the pitlane, and ran straight off track. It might be slippery out there now.
Three wide on Schumacher, who then dived into the pitlane anyway.
There are on and off yellow flags, presumably from drivers slipping off track and back on again.
It looks like Karthikeyan has stopped out on track, which may explain some of the yellows.
Alonso overtakes Button, now the McLaren is tucked up right behind the Ferrari.
Race Control investigating Car 18 (Buemi) for pit lane speeding.
Kobayashi has pitted now, rendering my table out of date already.
Pérez pits now as well. The Saubers are super light on their tyres again.
Mike Gascoyne from the pit wall: "We had a little bit of a problem with Heikki's stop. We're just trying to see how these options are holding up and whether we can get away with two stops."
Race Control confirm a 10 second stop/go penalty for Buemi.
Team radio to Hamilton: "You were six tenths faster than Vettel on the last lap. Please continue to look after the tyres."
Fernando Alonso puts in the fastest lap of the race for now - a 1:42.602.
It looks like the threat of rain has eased now.
Comment from Pat W: That was the first 'proper' bit of lapping, on Liuzzi, lap 19
Buemi has come in for his stop and go penalty. Watch him drop down the order from 12th.
Tweet from @OfficialLRGP: Already lots of marbles collecting at the side of the track. Will be very slippery offline.
An update on the tyre stint comparison, Webber came in first after only 11 laps, and the Saubers came in after 18, so those three mentioned in the table were distinctly average!
|M Schumacher||vs.||K Kobayashi|
Mark Webber has pitted again - it looks like they could be on for a four stop race.
Heidfeld runs really wide, just managing to keep control and keep the car out of the gravel.
Jenson Button pits, in from fourth place.
Hamilton pits next.
Rubens Barrichello has pulled into the garage and retired, so that's a double DNF for Williams.
Yellow flags shown for Sergio Pérez who has pulled off track in the Sauber.
Vettel in the pits.
Tweet from @OfficialLRGP: No rain on the radar at the moment so should be dry for a while.
Webber has put in the fastest lap so far: 1:41.600. I do so love round numbers.
Vettel has returned to the track behind Massa, and the Ferrari is holding him up a little - which could close up the gap for the lead.
Alonso has pitted.
Vettel manages to take the position back, so he's back in P1 now.
Massa pits from 3rd, as does Petrov from 6th.
Halfway through the race.
Schumacher pits from 9th place.
Team radio from Vettel:
"Do you want me to use KERS or not?"
"Negative, negative. Do not use KERS."
The message is quickly passed on to Button, with the addition: "If we can get close to him, we may have a chance."
Mike Gascoyne from the pit wall: "This is what we expected the Pirellis to give with the tyres. We're hanging on to do two stops but at the moment we don't really know how the hard tyre will go because no one is really on it."
Tweet from @MarussiaVirgin: Blue flags out again as vettel catches jerome fir the second time with nearly 60% of the race completed
The closest battle at the moment is between Petrov and Kobayashi, about a second apart, with the Renault chasing for 8th place.
A strange dip in times from Hamilton, he may be stuck in traffic but found one lap of clear air.
Vettel has the fastest lap of the race now, a 1:41.539.
Trulli has retired.
Tweet from @MarussiaVirgin: Lots of smoke from TRU at his stop and engine turned off. yfrog.com/h3rg2kmj
Sutil has just pitted, and come back on track with a purple first sector. Fresh tyres really make a difference.
Replays show the Force India overtaking Alguersuari for 14th on his way round as well.
Sergio Pérez: "Something came out of the car of Buemi and hit the ground of my car and I lose the power. We'll have to analyse and see what really happened. It was going good but we got the strategy wrong."
Buemi's car seems keen to shed it's component parts this weekend.
Kobayashi pits from 9th position.
|Sector 1||K Kobayashi||288kph|
|Sector 2||M Webber||142kph|
|Sector 3||A Sutil||272kph|
|Speed trap||F Massa||298kph|
Hamilton pits from third position. Hard tyres going on the McLaren.
Tweet from @tonyfernandes: jarno car retired.clutch problem
Button pits next.
Button returns to the track just in front of Hamilton - those pit stops made the difference.
Jérôme D'Ambrosio comes in for a quick stop.
Paul di Resta overtakes Nico Rosberg for 11th position.
Nick Heidfeld pits from 3rd, the Renault returning to the track in 7th.
Team radio to Hamilton: "17 laps to go and we do not want to stop again."
Hamilton was stopped for almost double Button's pit stop time, which may explain the position switch.
Meanwhile, at the back of the grid, Liuzzi pits from last place and returns to the track in... well, last place.
Button puts in the fastest lap of the race so far: 1:41.388.
Vettel pits from the lead.
Comment from Lukeh: There's been 53 pit stops #randomfact
And the number just keeps climbing and climbing.
Replays show Schumacher running massively wide but keeping the Mercedes out of trouble in the gravel. He's running 10th, as Kobayashi takes a position from him. Schumacher pits for new tyres.
Webber pits for his fourth stop of the day. FOUR STOPPING!
Petrov had to let Heidfeld past, as they are on completely different strategies.
Alonso is close up behind Hamilton, the pair battling round every corner.
|L Hamilton||vs.||F Alonso|
Petrov pits for his third stop of the day.
Yellow flags for D'Ambrosio, the Virgin car being pushed off by marshals.
Team radio to Alonso: "Rear wing not working. Stay calm, we can do it."
Down the home straight, Alonso is within one second of Hamilton, but his rear wing remains stubbornly shut.
Alonso tries to get past and the pair touch - front wing damage to the Ferrari, he'll likely have to pit to sort it out.
Alonso just closed too close to the McLaren and knocked his front wing against Hamilton's rear tyre.
Webber puts in a new fastest lap: 1:40.736.
Alonso pits. Now concern over whether Hamilton may get a puncture, but he seems to be doing okay.
Webber improves on his own fastest lap: 1:40.571.
Comment from Poppy: He may be one of the best but when he gets a bit desperate and gets his elbows out sometimes Alonso makes a right mess!
The Ferrari team are quick to react to Alonso's unscheduled stop. A 9 second stop for a nose change, and Alonso returns to the track in 7th.
Webber is chasing Massa for 5th position, the Red Bull closing up on the Ferrari.
Team radio to Button: "Nobody has done more than 16 laps on a set of primes yet. We are looking at doing 19."
Tweet from @autosportlive: Webber has fresher tyres than the Ferrari but it is getting increasingly hard to find second line with all the marbles around the circuit.
Webber gets the position with a really beautiful overtake, but Alonso isn't giving up. Webber has no KERS so it's not an easy battle.
Massa, not Alonso. Apologies.
Hamilton's pace seems to be falling off now.
Just five laps to go now. Something magical will have to happen for Vettel to lose it now.
Heidfeld overtakes Hamilton on the home straight for third place.
Hamilton has also lost a position to Webber.
Replays show that Lewis ran really wide, gifting the position to Webber.
Hamilton has pitted for new tyres, a fourth stop for Lewis and not scheduled.
|N Heidfeld on lap 52|
Hamilton returns to the track in 8th position, behind Petrov, which also means behind Alonso.
Team radio to Webber: "Heidfeld's tyres are four laps older than yours, he could reach the cliff soon."
Petrov is off and out of the car.
Replays show he just got wide on the marbles, hit a bump, flew through the air and down to the ground with a massive bump. The steering column was broken, and he could do nothing.
He climbed out of the car fine, but that was quite the accident!
Two laps to go.
Heidfeld is clearly struggling with his tyres now. Webber is close behind. Can Heidfeld cling on to the podium?
They navigate some traffic, Webber has dropped back a little.
Sebastian Vettel wins the Malaysian Grand Prix!
Button is second, with Heidfeld clinging on to a third place and podium finish.
Vettel has won five of the last six races.
|10||+4||Paul di Resta|
Felipe Massa is coasting around the track on his return to the pitlane. He may be low on fuel.
Massa has stopped out on track, the tractor comes along to pick up the Ferrari.
Interesting talk in the pre-podium room. Button congratulates Vettel, and they both ponder where on earth the Renaults came from at the start.
Vettel then asks Adrian Newey how many stops Button did, checking up on his rivals strategy.
|V Petrov||Flying Incident||52|
|T Liuzzi||Stop on track||51|
|J D'Ambrosio||Stop on track||45|
|J Trulli||Clutch failure||34|
|S Perez||Buemi debris||25|
The drivers spray their champagne on the podium. Big smiles all round. Vettel has a bit of trouble popping his cork, but finally aims the spray directly at Newey.
Heidfeld's last podium was two years ago at this very race.
Vettel and Newey on the podium.
Lewis Hamilton: "This is racing. I started second and did everything I could to keep up and I don't really have too much to say. Through the race I think my tyres went off, we boxed too early... my tyres were done at the end, the pit stop didn't help because that let Jenson by. It's one of those days, you just have to take it on the chin and move forward."
It doesn't look like he's taking it on the chin, though. He couldn't look more frustrated if he tried.
Press Conference Quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "A great day. The start was crucial, I thought I had a good start, then I saw Lewis behind me, then I was surprised when in turn one I saw some black in my mirrors. I knew it was a Lotus...
"On the one side, you don't want to be first in, on the other hand, if someone goes in, they have the advantage on new tyres. It was quite difficult and obviously it was tight with Lewis... it was never easy until the last stint and then Lewis had a problem. I realised Jenson was behind and I could comfortably control the gap.
"Very pleased. I love what I do, I don't think I could be happier at this stage."
Press Conference Quotes - Sebastian Vettel on KERS: "Two weeks ago we didn't race it at all, today it was crucial in the start. Without KERS we would have been in a very different position. It was giving us what we needed... we had a little problem so we turned it off, and it went back on.
"We have to keep our heads cool, keep working, keep pushing. I'm not worried, the guys know this is the way forward."
Press Conference Quotes -Jenson Button: "It was a really confusing race, trying to understand the pit stops, whether it's worth looking after the tyres or not. The last stint when we put the prime tyre on, the car came alive. I had a feeling the tyre wasn't going to go the same way as the soft tyre.
"A fun race... happy to come away with a second. I had the team telling me to back it off and look after the tyres, but in a racer's mind you want to catch the leader. I had a lot of fun out there and great to get 18 points."
Press Conference Quotes - Jenson Button: "It's difficult to know what to do to preserve the tyres... it's a tricky situation to be in, but I think we did pretty well. As we went through the race, I think we understood the tyre a lot more. We didn't get down to the canvas which was nice.
"A big thank you to the whole team, with the pit stops and the strategy. I think we've made some good progress."
Press Conference Quotes - Nick Heidfeld: "The start was fantastic. Good fun. I made up many positions on the start. I found myself fighting with Sebastian... after that I did the best I could but obviously Sebastian was quite a bit quicker... actually our first pit stop was not perfect, lost one or two positions there.
"Was a bit lucky with Fernando, who lost his front wing, had to do an extra pit stop. Had some good pace later on, especially on the prime tyres. Had to defend from Mark towards the end. Once he was behind me, his tyres also started to degrade.
"Great to come second place, second podium for Renault."
Press Conference Quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "I think first of all we can be happy today, and enjoy, and try to take that momentum into the next race.
"Two races, two out of two couldn't be better... the championship is still far away, there are a lot of points still to get, but at the moment things are looking good.
"Tomorrow starts China, and we'll see how we get on there."
Mark Webber: "It was a tough race. Even out of the box it wasn't a good start, and then you get killed on the long run with no KERS. It's tough to clear people when they have a better KERS. It was an interesting Grand Prix but we keep learning.
"Lewis was in strange trouble very quickly with his first set, I would have liked to go longer with mine... I was losing all the time behind Lewis, that's the way it was."
Tweet from @EliGP: I think Heidfeld is now the driver with the most podiums without a win
|12||P di Resta||2|
Fernando Alonso: "It was close, and the rear wing didn't work for me in the last part of the race, so I couldn't overtake Hamilton in the straight line. So we had to fight in some corners, and we touched... I broke the front wing so I had to pit. It cost me the podium today but in China we'll try again.
"Today we were fighting wheel to wheel with McLarens, with Webber as well. That was a surprise for us, as in Australia we were not near. Yesterday, we were one second off the pace, so today was a good surprise to be fighting with them."
That brings the second Grand Prix of 2011 to a close.
Red Bull have made a fantastic start, Vettel is supreme at the front.
Importantly, though, it seemed as though McLaren's were closing the gap through the entire weekend, and although a scrappy race today, Vettel does have competition.
Renault have put in another solid performance. Petrov was in the points until his flying incident, and a podium for Renault makes that two trophies in a row for the team.
Sauber didn't seem to have the pace that they did in Australia, but showed that they really do know how to manage their tyres.
Paul di Resta picks up the final point, finishing in 10th position - another solid result for the rookie.
Thank you for joining me today, it's been another fascinating weekend, and we have just a few days to wait until things get going in China.
Back to back racing means that this time next weekend we'll be pondering the results of the Chinese Grand Prix.
I hope you will join me for qualifying and the race, as we always have such fun together.
Stay cool, fact fans.
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