I'll show you the tyre selection for this weekend, orange sidewalls - hard tyres and white sidewalls - medium tyres. Of course, we are more likely to see the green and blue of the wet tyres.
Martin Brundle chatting to Jean Todt on the grid, the FIA President says of the tyre situation, "Well, people are never happy."
More drivers are running off track at exactly the same place - replays show three in a row disappearing straight on at the corner and off into the gravel. They'll be in a right state when they get to the grid.
Interview with Giedo van der Garde: "It's half wet, half dry. It's really, really wet, some guys are spinning off, it's quite tricky there. When you go through the middle sector on the last part, it's not too bad. At the moment, it looks like intermediates, but you never know what happens here. If it rains again, we'll go on full wets.
"It was a challenge already in Melbourne, it is again here."
Bottas is having a front wing change on the grid, after a brief excursion off track.
Interview with Pastor Maldonado: "Bit difficult in turn three, very wet there, but the rest of the track seems to be inter conditions. But let's see what's going to happen in the next couple of minutes. If it's like this, I think the tyre will be the inters, but here it can change immediately so we need to wait and see.
"This is exciting, we weren't expecting this... we'll see for the strategy and the weather as well, hopefully it will be good."
Daniel Ricciardo has a chat pre-race and suggests he's aiming for a top ten finish today. He starts from 13th place, whilst teammate Vergne is back in 17th.
Alan Permane of Lotus is not impressed with the conditions: "We were hoping for dry to be honest. As I said in Australia, I didn't think we could win there, I don't think we can win ehre. Inters at the moment, looking at the radar, this is petering out and there is nothing behind it. Of course, here it bubbles up from nowhere."
Double DRS this weekend, with one zone on the penultimate straight, and the other separate zone on the start/finish straight. Again, no DRS if it's raining.
Frantic preparations on the grid, making final adjustments before the race begins. Via @clubforce.
Tweet from @InsideFerrari: Cars on the grid. Raining slightly and very slippery track. Grip levels: the worst possible.
The whole grid are all starting on intermediate tyres, green sidewalls all round.
Vettel leads the pack away for the formation lap - hopefully the drivers will keep it on the tarmac this time.
Rounding the final hairpin, the cars form up on the grid in anticipation of the lights.
A slow start from everyone, Vettel gets away in front, Alonso streaked past Massa down into turn one.
Webber has flown out of nowhere forward, past the two Ferraris.
Alonso's car is sparking up, his front wing endplate is dragging on the track.
Massa has dropped back considerably, Rosberg and Button have both got ahead of the Ferrari.
Webber and Alonso are side by side but Alonso keeps the position. The sparks have stopped but the wing does not look good at all!
Down the home straight, Webber powers past Alonso, but moments later the front wing gives up.
The wing went straight under the car, sending Alonso straight off track into the gravel.
Button and Rosberg are side by side, Button gets the lead but Rosberg has none of it and comes back alongside the McLaren. Finally, Rosberg moves ahead once more.
Replays of the start show Alonso just clipped the back of Vettel into turn two. It looks like Ferrari were prepping for a pit stop with the new front wing but were pondering whether to change to dry tyres as well. In the end, too late!
Vettel has come into the pits, Massa as well.
A swift stop from Red Bull, and both Vettel and Massa are on the medium compounds.
Everyone is diving in the pit lane now, but Webber gets the call to stay out because it's too wet in sector one.
Sutil has a problem in the pit stop, major issue and that's Paul di Resta queued up behind him. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
He's off again now, but that's screwed up two races in one go!
Lewis Hamilton got a bit confused there, he drove his Mercedes right into the McLaren garage. The front jack man leapt out the way and he skipped on to Mercedes instead. Awkward!
Pic and Vergne collide as the Caterham is coming into the pit lane, and the Toro Rosso is exiting. Got to be an unsafe release, there.
Webber is leading the race, with Vettel behind him. Both drivers have stopped, so the call for Webber to stay out an extra lap or two worked in his favour... for now.
Vergne and Pic have both returned to the track, but they are right at the back now. 20th and 21st respectively.
The fastest lap is changing hands quickly, as the times start to drop on the new tyres.
Notably, Webber is on the hard compound, with Vettel chasing him on the mediums.
Some replays of overtaking moves through the midfield - Grosjean got past Pérez for eighth place, whilst Paul di Resta is past teammate Sutil. He can lead the next traffic jam in the Force India pits, then.
Kimi has Sergio Pérez in front of him, and the Lotus is looking ready to get past any moment now. Teammate Grosjean puts in the fastest lap so far.
Unsafe release involving Vergne and Pic will be investigated after the race.
Replays show Pastor Maldonado hit the kerb and ran off track, bouncing across the gravel and destroying the front wing. He's returned to the pit lane, they've patched him up and he's off again.
|S Pérez||vs.||K Räikkönen|
Räikkönen finally makes the past down the main straight, DRS giving him the boost he needs to move up to ninth.
Maldonado is at the back of the field now, just behind Pic. Vergne, who was also pushed down there due to the pit problem earlier, has jumped Chilton at least. Currently 18th.
The fastest lap is continuing to fall, taken by Rosberg, Webber, Räikkönen.
|Sector 1||A Sutil||281kph|
|Sector 2||M Webber||141kph|
|Sector 3||K Räikkönen||269kph|
|Speed trap||P Di Resta||304kph|
Force India has some pace then, and we can see Paul di Resta hounding Daniel Ricciardo for 11th place. Down the home straight they go, and the Force India is past.
Webber pits from the lead.
Another super-fast pit stop from Red Bull, no wonder they are leading!
Bottas is instructed on the radio to push for two laps, if he can, trying to create a gap to those behind. He's currently 14th.
Massa and Grosjean come in for their stops. Di Resta also pits - this time by himself.
Ahh, it's another pit stop problem for Force India, Di Resta has been stationery for ages. They are still trying to sort out the tyre situation. Wheel gun or something.
Lewis Hamilton comes in for his stop, into the right box this time, quick stop and he's off again.
Paul di Resta is still stationery, watching drivers pile in and out around him.
Di Resta leaves the pit lane!!
Tweet from @OfficialSF1Team: lap times of #Hulk still ok. expecting some pit stops of the others soon. the tyre battle is on. wisdom for the decision-makers on pitwall.
Race leader Sebastian Vettel comes in for his stop - the lead of the race returns to Mark Webber as the Red Bulls retain their 1-2 positions.
Sutil's in for his stop, and they have the same problem - something going on with that front left tyre again.
Paul di Resta comes back into the pit lane again, and he's pushed back into the garage. Race over.
All the drivers that are still running have stopped twice, except for Vergne who has come in just that one (calamitous) time.
Vettel is pushing Webber along, he's within the DRS zone and he's looking for a lead change any second now. He's been warned over the radio about looking after the tyres though.
Button is on the radio complaining that Sutil wasn't getting blue flags, but he's made his way past him now.
Oddly, it seems as though these two Red Bull drivers are actually allowed to race each other for position.
Plus, as the Red Bull versus Red Bull battle continues, Hamilton is hunting them down as well.
The leading pack have to make their way past Chilton, who has himself admitted this blue flag business is new for him. They're all getting past okay though.
Team radio from Vettel: "Mark is too slow, get him out of the way."
Vettel's race engineer reminds him we are only at half race distance. Even if it feels like a lot longer!
Kimi Räikkönen takes a bit of a shortcut across the grass, that car looking quite the handful.
Adrian Sutil returns to the pit lane, and that's a double retirement for the Force India team.
Word from the garage is that the prolonged pit stops meant components overheated, hence the double DNF.
Lewis Hamilton comes in for his third stop of the day.
Mercedes aren't breaking any pit stops records today, Hamilton's last stop was 3.3 seconds, this one 3.6 seconds.
Interview with Vijay Mallya: "The cars were really quick, we were very encouraged, hoped that Paul would get up there into the points. In the pit stops we had a catastrophic failure of the wheel guns, changing tyres became a problem, took too long."
Webber and Rosberg have both taken their third stops of the day.
Good news for Button fans, he is leading the race as Vettel dives into the pit lane. It'll shake out in the wash, but encouraging for McLaren to be up there again.
Vettel's stop sees him come out behind Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes' strategy has split the Red Bulls.
Vettel is now being hounded by the other Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.
Tweet from @clubforce: Very disappointed - but at least we know we can keep up the pace with the leaders, and we will be back fighting at the top in China.
Ted News: The previous Mercedes stint was about pushing as hard as they could, now they have to balance the pace with looking after tyres, and not running out of fuel.
There's news of another unsafe release in the pit lane, between Massa and Pérez - no contact this time, though.
Webber made an attempt at a pass on Button, the McLaren came back again, but by the third corner, Webber had made the pass for the lead.
Another one! Hülkenberg released into the path of Kimi Räikkönen in the pit lane.
Wheel to wheel between the Sauber and Lotus, beautiful clean racing but Hülkenberg remains in front for now. They're fighting for ninth place.
Button gets the call to pit finally.
The McLaren stop looked good, but he pulls to a halt almost immediately down the pit lane. The mechanics run to recover the car, pushing him back to the garage. Replays show the front right tyre was not attached, so he stopped the car.
Button is off again, all tyres attached, but the significant delay has dropped him down to 14th.
Hamilton is in fuel saving mode now, he loses a place to Sebastian Vettel almost immediately. Red Bull back into their 1-2 position, five seconds between the pair.
Kimi is on the radio complaining about some aggressive moves from Hülkenberg but just the briefest of tyre touches between them so far.
Lewis Hamilton comes in to the pits again, that's his fourth stop of the day. Busy pit lane day today!
The Mercedes driver has dropped just one place behind his teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis now sitting fourth.
Vettel and Rosberg both pit.
And as Rosberg exits the pitlane, Hamilton streaks up the main straight, taking his third place straight back.
Webber dives into the pit lane from the lead of the race. The mechanics scramble to be ready for him but it's still a good stop.
Webber leaves the pit lane with Vettel trying to do a Hamilton and streak past. They are side by side, Vettel trying everything to get past. Some great defensive driving from Webber, clean stuff from both.
Webber has the position for now, but DRS zones approaching.
Nico Rosberg made a pass on Hamilton in the first of the DRS zones, but Lewis immediately got the place back again in the second zone.
Another lap round, and Rosberg makes the DRS move again.
The Red Bulls are side by side again, corner through corner the advantage changes hands constantly.
Wheel to wheel between Vettel and Webber, three corners of close racing before Vettel makes it stick. The pit wall look on nervously!
Team radio to Vettel: This is silly, Seb, come on."
Vettel getting told off, eh?
The radio message clearly responding to how close Vettel had to get to the pit wall down the main straight in a desperate attempt to get past.
Pastor Maldonado is off track, climbing from the car. Marshals ready to recover the Williams.
Track is clear.
Felipe Massa pits for his fourth stop, and rejoins the action in eighth. He's lost out this race, after starting on the front row.
Kimi Räikkönen is hunting down Pérez, the McLaren driver sandwiched between two Lotus cars.
Kimi goes the long way round the hairpin, and takes the position, but there's DRS available for Pérez now.
It's not quite enough for Sergio, so that Kimi keeps the position. Massa takes the opportunity to pass a distracted Pérez as well, passing him as if he wasn't there!
Massa now moves past Räikkönen, Kimi didn't put up any sort of fight for that one, the Ferrari is flying ahead.
Button, down in 14th, is told over the radio, "There's a point just up the road, plenty of cars to overtake, let's have a bit of fun."
Team orders consternation throughout the field, as Rosberg gets on to Ross Brawn saying he's being held up, he just wants to drive past. Brawn's not having any of it. "Negative, Nico."
Extra radio from Ross Brawn explains that Lewis' pace is also being controlled, he could go a lot faster, but this is the pace they want him to do.
Five laps to go, four retirements this race, and at least three unhappy teammates.
Felipe Massa sets the fastest lap of the race, the time now a 1:39.805.
Replays show Daniel Ricciardo pulling slowly into the pitlane, another retirement.
Felipe Massa has overtaken Romain Grosjean for fifth place.
Rosberg is still not happy with the situation, on to Ross Brawn again that the pace is so slow. Brawn won't be budged.
Jenson Button has come into the pit lane, there's a space clear in the garage, it's a retirement for McLaren.
Sergio Pérez comes in for a genuine late pit stop, fresh tyres on, and he comes back out in ninth place. Nothing lost.
Final lap for all involved. Hamilton instructed to coast, they really are concerned about the fuel level on that car.
You've got to feel bad for Rosberg, they are circling so slowly, it must be more frustrating than anything.
Sebastian Vettel wins the Malaysian Grand Prix!
Webber crosses the line second, and Hamilton finally gets there third.
There are no celebrations on either the Red Bull or Mercedes pit wall. A difficult afternoon for everyone, it seems!
Team radio to race winner Vettel: "Good job Sebastian. Looked like you wanted it bad enough. Still, there'll be some explaining to do."
Team radio from Rosberg, upon being thanked for his work: Remember this one.
Great drive from Bianchi to finish 13th, that could be very useful in the Marussia versus Caterham battle later in the year.
Very awkward green room. Vettel the only happy one, chats with team representative Adrian Newey. Hamilton keeps to himself, no sign of Webber.
Webber arrives finally, not happy at all. Points something out to Vettel, presumably the strategy that was ignored.
Crackling tension in that green room, they grab watches, water and caps and head out onto the podium.
Webber smiles for the fans but, oh, you can see the pain.
National anthem time.
|P Maldonado||Spun off||47|
|A Sutil||Pit stop failures||29|
|P di Resta||Pit stop failures||24|
|F Alonso||Collision damage||2|
That's a podium full of grumpy people. Finally some smiles, from the Mercedes mechanics in the crowd.
You can see the crush on the two Mercedes drivers here.
Champagne is sprayed, but Webber aims his at the crowd, ignoring the other two quite distinctly.
Podium interviews - Sebastian Vettel: "It was very close wheel to wheel racing, there wasn't much room for either of us. It was a tight battle but I think, probably, I was a bit too keen too soon. In terms of strategy, I was on the softer compound towards, so I felt I had a bit more. Enjoyed the fight, had the upper hand in the end..."
Podium interviews - Sebastian Vettel: "It's very hot today, I think if there's something to say we need to talk internally. I think we both enjoyed that, I'm standing in the middle now, so I think I enjoyed it a bit more, I think we have plenty of time to talk about it."
Podium interviews - Mark Webber: "The first part of the GP went very well for us. Tricky conditions on the intermediates to start with. Got the right strategy early in the race... really it was just controlling the race. I had to mark Lewis off in the middle there, after the last stop, the team told me the race was over, we turned the engines off and marked to the end. In the end Seb made his own decisions, he will get protection from the team as usual..."
Podium interviews - Lewis Hamilton: "The team did a fantastic job, it's great to be up here for them. I really feel Nico should be standing here, he had better pace than me throughout the race, but he's a great teammate. I was fuel saving for a long time, unable to keep the pace of the guys in front. Nonetheless, we did a good job today, and I'm glad to be up here for them.
"I can't say it's the best feeling being up here but racing is racing, and I've got to keep looking forward."
Podium interviews - Sebastian Vettel: "In the championship regard, it's a long race. It's good at this stage of the year to score points and we go from there. Thinking about the championship now is way too early. I think it was a great race for the team today, I think we did better on the tyres than we expected... we had a clean race in terms of tyres."
Tweet from @alanbaldwinf1: So that's two drivers on the podium who reckon they should be standing somewhere else. And one looking a bit shifty.
Interview with Christian Horner: "From a team point of view, an exemplary performance. As far as the drivers are concerned, we let them race up to the last pit stop... we wanted to control the race, but at that point the driver's interests became bigger than the team's. Uncomfortable for us.
"We told the drivers to maintain position to the end of the race. Sebastian took it into his own hands... he wanted to win that race."
Tweet from @alo_oficial: Bad luck today, as always over 19 races will be compensated and we are ready to recover good points in the next race!
So, it was a great race today, even if only for the incredible teammate tension. We've been waiting for a good fight for ages!
Red Bull dominant this weekend, regardless of who was on top. Good pace from Mercedes too, another strong race for Hamilton.
It was a silly Ferrari/Alonso error that saw him crash out in the early stages of the race, but Massa showed some great pace towards the end.
Lots of retirements, Force India in particular will want to forget today ever happened. Pastor Maldonado continued to struggle to keep the car on track.
A bad day for pit stops all round, really. Drivers getting held up, unsafe releases, crashing on the way in, crashing on the way out, and those pesky wheel nuts misbehaving.
We've now got a three week gap to the next race in China, so, as ever, stay tuned to http://f1minute.com and https://sidepodcast.com for all the news and views between now and then.
Thanks for sticking with the Factbyte Factbox this weekend, we'll be back up and running for China. Join me then, won't you?
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Filed under Lap by lap coverage
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