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As it happened: Race day at Sepang
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
Clouds build above Sepang
Clouds build above Sepang © Sutton
06:30 Hello and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live for the third round of the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Last weekend the sport put on a great show at Albert Park, offering up action, excitement and plenty of overtaking. The weather undoubtedly played a part in all that - and could do so again today.

Qualifying produced a wonderful grid and action is guaranteed this afternoon for the 12th Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang F1 Circuit.

The race itself begins at 08:00 GMT, but before then we will set the scene by reviewing yesterday's qualifying session, update you on today's weather conditions and support card activity, and focus on some of the major talking points heading into the race.

Webber, Rosberg and Vettel start at the front
Rosberg, Webber and Vettel came out on top of a chaotic qualifying session © Sutton
06:35 The heavens opened above Sepang just seven minutes before the start of qualifying as the weather did its best to play a key role in deciding the grid.

The smart move was to get out on track as soon as the session opened, but the big teams surprisingly chose to wait, thinking that the rain would stop. It didn't, and in fact got worse, leaving them with a huge task just to make it through the first stage.

Jenson Button soon found out that he was on the wrong side of the conditions, as he slid off the road in his McLaren. Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso spun but continued, Bruno Senna also headed for the beach and Felipe Massa didn't make it either. The casualty list after 20 minutes was phenomenal - Trulli, Alonso, Hamilton, Massa, Chandhok, Senna and di Grassi all taking an early bath.

Button scraped through, but with his MP4-25 stuck in the gravel it was clear he wouldn't be taking any further part in proceedings and will start 17th. Kovalainen and Glock did a brilliant job in making it through, with 15th and 16th respectively almost as good as a win for Lotus and Virgin. The second phase was plain sailing from thereon, with Petrov, de la Rosa, Buemi and Alguersuari also eliminated.

That left some surprising names in the top ten shootout. Robert Kubica caused consternation at the start of Q3 by choosing not to queue up behind the rest of the cars in the pitlane. Instead, he drove past his competitors and parked at the front. He won the race to Turn 1 when the session opened and had track position over the rest of the field as the rain came down in torrents.

That piece of gamesmanship proved to be worthless, however. Race director Charlie Whiting had no choice but to temporarily stop the session due to the atrocious track conditions. After a 20-minute delay, out they came again for a seven-minute scramble to determine the grid.

Full wet tyres were chosen by all but Mark Webber. The rain had stopped and the Australian gambled on there just being enough grip out there to stay on the road with intermediates. The gamble paid off and Webber blitzed the rest of the field by 1.3 seconds on his final lap. Nico Rosberg bagged a front row spot for Mercedes with Sebastian Vettel third and Adrian Sutil a spectacular fourth.

Webber on pole in disrupted qualifying

06:40 Dry and mainly sunny conditions greeted the Formula 1 teams at dawn this morning, but it could have been very different.

At seven o'clock a ridiculously large storm cell passed by 40 kilometres to the south of the circuit, featuring rainfall rates of around 35 mm per hour. We have no word on whether the teams are planning to build an ark for today's race.

At the circuit it's so far, so good. Dry conditions remain but all afternoon the clouds have been building to the east. Storm cells are on the move west towards Sepang - the nearest one is currently located 110 kilometres to the east of Sepang, but further showers will build over the next few hours.

The hottest part of the day is already behind us with temperatures reaching 32 degrees Celsius. The lack of strong sunshine as the skies turn overcast will help bring the temperature down a degree or two as we move towards the start time.

Richard Bradley dominated Formula BMW Pacific
Richard Bradley dominated in Formula BMW Pacific © Sutton
06:45 Formula BMW Pacific provided the only supporting action to the Malaysian Grand Prix with two races at Sepang to get the season underway.

18-year-old Singaporean Richard Bradley dominated proceedings throughput the weekend, taking pole in qualifying and wins yesterday and in the second race this afternoon for his Eurasia Motorsport team.

Carlos Sainz Jr, son of the rally legend, finished a strong second yesterday but slipped back to fourth in the closing stages of the race today, leaving 14-year-old Colombian Oscar Tunjo and Japanese Kotaro Sakurai to complete the podium

The series is back on the grand prix support bill at Singapore in September.

Formula 1 fans make some noise
Formula 1 fans make some noise © Sutton
06:50 Motor racing enthusiasts love to debate and discuss the action on track, and the live forum at the bottom of the screen is your chance to let everyone know your thoughts on events as they unfold at the circuit.

• Will the Red Bull duo - aided by slightly slower machinery around them on the grid - blast off into the distance unchallenged?

• Do you want to see a wet or dry race today?

• Can Kovalainen or Glock score a point from 15th and 16th on the grid? Glock, of course, would need rain to make that a possibility due to the size of the Virgin fuel tank.

• What can Ferrari and McLaren do from the back of the field? Will any of the four drivers make it onto the podium?

Tell the world what you think.

Click the SHOW LIVE FORUM link in the red bar at the bottom of your browser window if you'd like to join the debate.

The Royal Malaysian Airforce swoop overhead
A Royal Malaysian Airforce MIG overhead © Sutton
06:55 Entertainment at Sepang has continued through the afternoon both in the air and on-track to keep the sparse but growing crowd occupied.

At the start-finish line, the drivers appeared a short time ago for the traditional parade around the 5.543 km track, with the loudest cheers from the Malaysians reserved for Lotus Racing drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli.

Michael Schumacher is a three-time winner of this event and the German also received plenty of appreciation from the main grandstand.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force has just finished its final air display of the weekend with a MIG fighter jet blasting sound all around the circuit.

07:00 Here is the sensational grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix:
Pos  Driver         Team
 1.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault
 2.  Rosberg        Mercedes
 3.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault
 4.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes
 5.  Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth
 6.  Kubica         Renault
 7.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth
 8.  Schumacher     Mercedes
 9.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari
10.  Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes
11.  Petrov         Renault
12.  de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari
13.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari
14.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari
15.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth
16.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth
17.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes
18.  Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth
19.  Alonso         Ferrari
20.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes
21.  Massa          Ferrari
22.  Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth
23.  Senna          HRT-Cosworth
24.  di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth
07:05 The weather remains fine and dry at Sepang, with no indication yet that it will change anytime soon.

The latest radar images suggest that showers are lurking to the east - but they are still approximately 100 kilometres away.

Storm clouds are expected to build throughout the afternoon, but today the development is much later than we saw on both Friday and Saturday.

07:09 With many drivers starting out-of-position in today's race, we expect to see a lot of overtaking as they try to fight their way towards the front.

So where are the favoured overtaking spots at Sepang?

Turn 1 is obviously a good place to start. The cars are barreling down the pit straight at close to 185 mph, braking hard for an ever-tightening right-hander. The corner can be defended though - even from the outside - as Heinz-Harald Frentzen demonstrated beautifully in 2001 as he fended off a strong attack from Ralf Schumacher, but usually the inside line is the favoured route to pass a competitor.

Turn 4 is the next opportunity to slice up the inside under braking, but it depends very much on how much traction you get coming out of a very slow Turn 2. Drivers would be advised not to risk a wild move in such a long race. Felipe Massa found this out to his cost early in the 2007 event. He ran wide twice attempting to pass Lewis Hamilton and his race was heavily compromised as a result.

The next few corners are a case of follow-the-leader, but Turn 9 does provide a possibility to pass, but with the Penang straight just 20 seconds up the road it would be advisable to wait.

Turn 14 tightens slightly, but the exit is slow-to-medium speed and providing you can stay within half-a-second of your opponent coming onto the 900 metre Penang straight, you have a good chance to tow up behind the car in front and dive to the inside under braking for the final corner. Most of the overtaking will take place here this afternoon.

Schumacher led home Barrichello in 2001
Schumacher led home Barrichello in 2001 © LAT
07:13 Despite the volatile climate and enormous downpours that frequently occur at Sepang, the history of rain-affected events in the 12-year history of the Malaysian Grand Prix is surprisingly few and far between.

The inaugural event in 1999 perhaps gave a taster of what would follow. 37 consecutive days of rain ended just one hour before the drivers took to the circuit for the first free practice session. Pedro Diniz took the dubious honour of becoming the first driver to spin at Sepang, managing to loop his Sauber exiting Turn 14 on the installation lap - less than two minutes into the Friday morning session.

Archive report - Rain continues at Malaysian GP

The next instance of rain affecting Formula 1 running was in 2001. Showers soaked the circuit prior to the Sunday morning warm-up. The session started wet but the track was dry by the end of the half-hour session.

That was small fry compared to what came in the afternoon. On lap three of the race a huge rainstorm fell, giving Ferrari a pitlane headache as Schumacher queued up for intermediate tyres behind Barrichello, who sat stationary in the pitbox for 72 seconds while the mechanics ran around looking for tyres.

The move to intermediates proved to be a stroke of genius as the red cars waltzed through the field to take a spectacular one-two.

A downpour ended the race early last year
A downpour ended the race early last year © LAT
07:17 2004 would provide the next opportunity to race in the rain at Sepang. A light shower early in the race gave Juan Pablo Montoya the chance to close down the gap to Schumacher's Ferrari. But quickly the rain subsided and with it so did the Williams driver's hopes of challenging for race victory.

And so to last year's incredible race. The decision to start the grand prix at five o'clock was heavily criticized by teams and fans. Predictably the daily storm lashed the circuit, stopping the event, but for 42 laps it was a tremendous spectacle.

Timo Glock gambled on intermediates at a time when everyone was pitting for full wet tyres and the German reaped the benefit, lapping the circuit up to seven seconds per lap faster than anyone else at times. By the time the red flags were displayed, he had moved up to second place and was offering a strong challenge to eventual winner Jenson Button.

With the start time moved back to four o'clock this year, we can reasonably expect a similar type of race today.

Red Bull's RB6 continues to set the pace
Red Bull's RB6 continues to set the pace © Sutton
07:22 With Webber and Vettel securing first and third on the grid in the ever-quick RB6, Red Bull is clearly the team to beat once again. With its major championship rivals boxed in at the back of the field, today really is a golden opportunity for the team to bounce back from costly reliability failures at the first two events.

"We had good chassis reliability [last year], and we should have book ended that with two wins at the beginning of this year - and it has been frustrating that we have not achieved the maximum," said team principal Christian Horner. "We are confident in our performance and the most important thing is we get both cars to the finish and score some sensible points."

Red Bull pressures no worry for Horner

Nico Rosberg starts from a career best second on the grid and is well-placed to mix it with the Red Bulls and pick up the pieces if they do hit trouble again.

Strong qualifying efforts from Sutil, Hulkenberg, Kubica and Barrichello put this group in the ideal place to fight for strong points finishes, mindful however of the top drivers looking to push forward from the back of the field.

It certainly could be another good day for Force India, with Liuzzi also in the top ten on the grid. "The team did a really good job during the winter and we confirmed that we had a good speed in winter testing and we confirmed our speed at the track," the Italian told AUTOSPORT after qualifying. "It has been a really perfect beginning of the season. Now we have to try really hard to continue in this way because other teams are not sleeping."

Hamilton has a lot to do from 20th
Hamilton has a lot to do from 20th © Sutton
07:26 Continuing our look through the starting grid, it is clear that the McLaren and Ferrari drivers have a lot of work to do this afternoon.

Jenson Button starts 17th, with Alonso 19th, Hamilton 20th and Massa in 21st. On paper, the foursome should make it through to the bottom end of the top ten quite easily by mid-distance.

Despite brilliant qualifying performances, Kovalainen and Glock will be easy pickings on the first lap. The interesting question will be whether the four drivers become embroiled in their own battle for position as they bid to move up the order.

Lewis Hamilton in particular needs a decent score here to stay in touch in the championship race, and will be in no mood to sit behind Massa or Alonso in the first few laps. The McLaren MP4-25 is quicker than the F10 in a straight line - thanks partially to its F-duct system allowing for reduced drag on the straights.

Patience could be the key to scoring points - not something Hamilton has in abundance.

07:30 The pitlane is now open for the drivers to make their way around to the grid.

07:31 With much of the rubber removed from the asphalt by yesterday's rain, the drivers will be keen to get a lap or two on slicks to assess grip.

07:32 Both Mercedes drivers are already out on exploratory tours.

07:32 Those with big enough fuel tanks can add extra petrol to allow for several laps to the grid, passing through the pits each time.

07:34 Weather-wise, the radar is showing us that the band of rain to the east is drifting north-east and is decreasing in intensity. This particular area of wet weather will no longer be a factor for the race, as it is heading towards Kuala Lumpur city centre.

Otherwise, to the south-east the weather is clear. However, showers could develop in the area quickly. Conditions have become heavily overcast in the last 20 minutes.

07:35 Polesitter Mark Webber tours around to the grid with the harder compound slicks on his Red Bull.

07:36 Nico Hulkenberg has run wide exiting Turn 4 on his lap to the grid. The young German takes a brief trip through the gravel trap but continues with no apparent damage.

07:36 Fernando Alonso is also pushing hard on his lap to the grid as all the drivers feel out the grip level.

07:37 A queue forms at the end of the pitlane as the Ferrari pair dodge around a slow-starting Sauber.

07:38 De la Rosa has in fact stalled at the end of the pitlane and his mechanics race to assist.

07:39 The mechanics arrive at the end of the pitlane and are trying to fire up de la Rosa's Sauber.

07:40 Hazy sunshine overhead as the cars continue to form up on the grid.

07:40 Kamui Kobayashi has made it onto the grid in the other Sauber C29.

07:41 De la Rosa's Sauber fired up but has now stopped in Turn 3.

07:42 This is disaster for the Spaniard and he could be out of the race before it even begins.

07:44 De la Rosa's Sauber is pushed behind the barriers and his day is over.

07:45 The pitlane is now closed. Any car not on the grid now will be required to start from the pits.

07:46 The Sepang crowd rises to respect the Malaysian national anthem, as it rings out over the public address system.

07:46 The track temperature is 44 Celsius, with overcast skies and a 32 degree ambient.

07:49 The race engineers have a tricky tyre choice to make for the start between the two compounds of slick rubber.

07:50 Heavy rain yesterday has dramatically reduced the grip level, meaning the first set of tyres will take a lot of punishment with full fuel.

07:50 The latest weather radar images tell us that there is no significant rain within 50 kilometres of the circuit. Meteo France say that there is no rain for at least the next 45 minutes.

07:51 Nico Hulkenberg is strapped into his Williams ahead of his first start in the top ten.

07:53 Lewis Hamilton climbs aboard the McLaren MP4-25 and slots himself into the cockpit. He has a lot to do from 20th position on the grid.

07:55 There are just five minutes to go until the formation lap at Sepang. Mark Webber arrives back on the grid late and is climbing into the RB6.

07:56 The track temperature is now 45 Celsius as the sunshine breaks through the clouds again. It is a hot 32 degrees in the air.

07:58 The final tyre choice is now bolted on to each car. With wet running in qualifying, all drivers were free to choose their dry compound.

07:59 As reported earlier, de la Rosa is already out of the grand prix after grinding to a halt on his lap to the grid.

08:00 Pedro de la Rosa confirms to the BBC that he suffered an engine failure on his lap to the grid. He will not start today.

08:00 Soft compound Bridgestones are the choice of the runners at the front of the field.

08:00 The formation lap begins at Sepang. Mark Webber leads the field away.

08:01 Alonso and Hamilton have opted for the harder tyres for their fight from the back of the field.

08:01 All 23 cars left the grid without problem. Webber is now leading the train through Turn 7.

08:01 Felipe Massa is also on the harder tyre, while Jenson Button has gone for softer rubber.

08:02 Webber makes the turn for home and brings the field into line behind him onto the grid.

08:03 The front few rows are now in position. The rest of the field is forming up neatly.

We await a cracking start ...

Lap 1: The five red lights go out and we are racing in Malaysia!

Lap 1: Webber gets a great start and Vettel is up alongside his team-mate into Turn 1.

Lap 1: It's a storming start from the Red Bull pair as Vettel leads from Webber, Rosberg, Kubica and Sutil heading around the back of the circuit.

Lap 1: Lewis Hamilton has had an absolutely meteoric start and is up to 12th place in the McLaren.

Lap 2: Vettel keeps the lead as they cross the line, by almost a second from team-mate Webber.

Lap 2: Hamilton lost a place to Sebastien Buemi towards the end of the first lap but is now working hard to take 12th back.

Lap 2: Hamilton dances round the outside of the Toro Rosso and is back up to 12th place.

Lap 3: Hamilton passes Jaime Alguersuari going into Turn 1 and now runs in 11th spot.

Lap 3: Vettel sets the fastest lap with a 1m41.853s to lead by 1.3 seconds over Webber. Rosberg is a further two seconds behind, followed by Kubica, Sutil, Schumacher, Hulkenberg, Liuzzi and Petrov.

Lap 3: Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa all run together down in 16th, 17th and 18th positions.

Lap 3: Rubens Barrichello was the big loser in that tight start to the race. He stalled on the grid and was thankfully missed by all the other cars.

Lap 3: Replays of the start show that Vettel steamed past team-mate Webber in Turn 1. The Australian fought back at Turn 4 but didn't make it stick.

Lap 4: Lewis Hamilton overtakes Kamui Kobayashi in the Turn 1 and 2 complex of corners and is up into the top ten.

Lap 4: Timo Glock is out of the race. The Virgin driver ran out of road at Turn 9 and beached his car in the gravel.

Lap 4: Webber is lapping slightly quicker than his team-mate but there is little he can do in the dirty air of the leader.

Lap 5: Hamilton continues his progress in 10th and is targeting Petrov's Renault.

Lap 5: Petrov gets a major wobble on through Turn 12 and Hamilton is sure to pounce.

Lap 5: Felipe Massa is in 14th spot and has Alonso and Button right behind him. They are a full 15 seconds off the lead at the moment.

Lap 5: Petrov runs wide at the final corner and it is an easy move for Hamilton. The Russian fights back in Turn 1 though and is back past for now.

Lap 6: There is a battle going on down the field for 21st place. Bruno Senna is fending off a strong attack from Jarno Trulli, who has had a very poor start.

Lap 6: Petrov has major oversteer in the Renault and will struggle to hold off the charging Hamilton for much longer, despite that brave fight back.

Lap 6: Massa is now on the tail of Sebastien Buemi. The Toro Rosso is 13th and has the three big names right behind him. Big pressure.

Lap 6: Webber is told on the radio to conserve his tyres for the end of the stint.

Lap 7: Rosberg is staying in touch with the lead pair and is 3.3 seconds down on the Red Bulls.

Lap 7: Hamilton's scrap with Petrov continues and he must be upset that the Renault got past again after that earlier move.

Lap 8: Petrov valiantly refuses to cede in a great battle, but Hamiton is now ahead despite some questionable weaving down the main straight.

Lap 8: Felipe Massa still isn't able to get past Sebastien Buemi, as they fight for 13th. Jaime Alguersuari is just one second ahead of this pair in 12th.

Lap 8: Hamilton is now ninth after that epic scrap with Petrov. He is closing on the fighting pair of Liuzzi and Hulkenberg.

Lap 9: Jenson Button overtakes Fernando Alonso for 15th place going into Turn 1. He will now cruise straight up to the gearbox of Massa.

Lap 9: Kamui Kobayashi has rolled to a standstill. The Japanese driver is out of the race after a promising start.

Lap 9: Vettel leads into lap 10 from team-mate Webber. Rosberg trails by 3.6 seconds, from Kubica, Sutil and Schumacher.

Lap 9: Jenson Button comes into the pits from 15th place. He takes on a set of harder tyres in 5.4 seconds and is away again.

Lap 10: Hamilton has been given the black and white warning flag for driving standards after that weaving to defend from Petrov.

Lap 10: Michael Schumacher is out of the race with a broken left rear suspension.

Lap 10: Jarno Trulli has passed both Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok. The Italian runs in 19th place with Chandhok 20th and Senna 21st.

Lap 10: Schumacher had a major moment through Turn 6 as the left rear wheel came askew. The German has pulled off and is now behind the barrier.

Lap 11: Meanwhile, Hamilton is right with Liuzzi's Force India in what is now a battle for seventh.

Lap 11: Rubens Barrichello is another driver climbing back through the field. The Williams is up to 15th, passing di Grassi on the last lap.

Lap 11: Webber recently set the fastest lap but that honour is now taken by team-mate Vettel in 1m41.206s.

Lap 12: Heikki Kovalainen has a serious go at Lucas di Grassi for 16th place but locks up and runs wide. The Finn has a puncture and is on his way back to the pits. That was the battle between the new teams for 16th place.

Lap 12: Hamilton clears Liuzzi as the Force India slows ...

Lap 12: Liuzzi clearly has a problem and is touring to a retirement.

Lap 12: Cars are dropping out all over the place in the heat of Malaysia! Button sets the quickest first sector time on his hard tyres. He is 14th.

Lap 12: That puts Hamilton up to seventh and closing on Hulkenberg's Williams.

Lap 13: Button now sets the fastest lap of the race with 1m41.155s. He is now 13th and 17 seconds behind Alonso.

Lap 13: The Red Bull pair are now a strong 4.8 seconds clear of Rosberg's Mercedes.

Lap 13: Hulkenberg pits from seventh and gives Hamilton a big piece of clear air.

Lap 13: Petrov follows Hulkenberg in and out of the pits and they resume behind Button's McLaren.

Lap 14: Liuzzi has brought the stricken Force India back into the pit. The team is checking over the car but it doesn't look good.

Lap 14: Hamilton sets his best lap of the race as he goes over the line sixth. He is, however, 9.5 seconds behind Sutil and 21.1s off the lead.

Lap 14: Sebastien Buemi pits the Toro Rosso from what was eighth place. That releases the Ferrari pair into some clear space.

Lap 15: Jenson Button is still setting a very quick pace after that change of tyres. He is now 13 seconds behind Alonso. They are ninth and tenth.

Lap 15: Buemi had moved in to the top ten but pits, releasing Massa and Alonso in the Ferraris.

Lap 15: Hamilton takes the fastest lap with a 1m40.899s. He slashes the gap to Sutil to 8.3 seconds.

Lap 15: Hulkenberg is down to 11th following that tyre change. Vitaly Petrov is right behind him in 12th as Trulli and Chandhok pit.

Lap 15: Webber is being encouraged to push by engineer Cairon Pilbeam as the inter-team rivalry builds at Red Bull ahead of the stops.

Lap 16: Hamilton is now seven seconds behind Sutil and closing rapidly.

Lap 16: Hamilton is matching the leader's pace on his harder compound tyres. The Red Bulls started on soft tyres.

Lap 17: Bruno Senna pits from 17th place in the HRT entry. Both cars are running reliably so far.

Lap 17: Hamilton is told on the radio that no rain is likely any time soon and the race could be dry to the end.

Lap 18: The radar shows no convective showers building anywhere near the circuit and official predictions are for no rain in the next 30 minutes.

Lap 18: Hamilton is now six seconds off Sutil's fifth place.

Lap 19: Jenson Button is continuing to slowly pull in the two Ferraris in front of him. Massa is eighth with Alonso ninth - Button is 11 seconds back.

Lap 19: Alonso appears to be struggling to change gears on his Ferrari.

Lap 20: Hamilton needs to press on as team-mate Button is setting good pace on his fresher tyres.

Lap 20: Hamilton was closing rapidly on Sutil, who pits the Force India.

Lap 21: Sutil resumes behind the Ferrari pair but ahead of Jenson Button.

Lap 21: Jaime Alguersuari has been into the pits. He rejoins in 12th position, right behind Vitaly Petrov's Renault.

Lap 21: Kubica is the next man to call for new tyres.

Lap 22: Behind Jenson Button, Hulkenberg is tenth with Petrov 11th, Alguersuari 12th and Buemi is catching them in 13th.

Lap 22: Kubica resumes just ahead of Massa and holds off the Ferrari in the opening complex.

Lap 22: Petrov and Alguersuari are having a right ding-dong on the circuit and will collide if they aren't careful.

Lap 22: Alguersuari slices up the inside of the Renault and is now through to 11th place. Buemi follows him through as Petrov loses out.

Lap 23: Rosberg is in the next time around, switching to harder tyres for the run to the end. It's a rapid 3.9 second stop from Mercedes.

Lap 23: Heikki Kovalainen came out of the pits for a couple of laps following that problem at the rear of the Lotus, but has since retired from the race.

Lap 23: The order is now Vettel from Webber and Hamilton - all yet to stop.

Lap 23: Leader Vettel is now in the pits.

Lap 24: Vettel just makes it out ahead of Hamilton.

Lap 25: Webber now leads, with Vettel second and Hamiton third. Rosberg leads the cars that have stopped in fourth, from Kubica, Massa and Alonso.

Lap 25: Webber reacts to Vettel's stop. There is a fumble on the front right and Vettel easily re-takes the lead.

Lap 25: Hamilton is temporarily between the Red Bull pair before the McLaren's stop.

Lap 26: Jaime Alguersuari now has clear space after passing Petrov and is flying. He is running laps in the 1m40s bracket and homing in on Hulkenberg. They are tenth and 11th.

Lap 26: McLaren would be wise to pit Hamilton soon as Rosberg, Kubica and Sutil are all quick on fresh rubber.

Lap 26: Massa is now sixth, from Alonso - struggling with the Ferrari gearbox - in seventh. The Scuderia are yet to pit either car.

Lap 26: Jarno Trulli is 16th but running slow lap times. Chandhok is just seven seconds behind him with Senna last in 18th place.

Lap 26: Vettel sets the fastest lap at 1m39.854s as he finds good grip on his fresh set of the harder compound tyres.

Lap 27: Sutil and Button run ninth and tenth ahead of imminent stops for the Ferrari pair.

Lap 27: Heikki Kovalainen is back out on the circuit after an 11 minute call to the pits. He makes it 19 runners in the race.

Lap 27: Webber responds to another fastest lap from Vettel but is now 4.3 seconds behind his team-mate after the stops.

Lap 28: Massa finally makes his pit visit, resuming ninth just ahead of Hulkenberg's Williams.

Lap 28: Rubens Barrichello in 14th is catching Vitaly Petrov. The Renault driver is continuing to lose pace and the Williams is closing.

Lap 28: Massa has made good gains by running long, clearing the Williams and the Toro Rosso pair. He has a hefty 29 lap run to the flag on softs.

Lap 28: Vettel has the hammer down up front and now is 5.1 seconds up on Webber. Hamilton remains between the pair but is yet to stop.

Lap 29: The airport rain radar is now showing light showers building up very quickly just to the east of the circuit. We may just get a sprinkle in the final few laps of the race.

Lap 29: Hamilton is likely to tumble to around sixth after his stop, resuming close to team-mate Button.

Lap 29: Karun Chandhok sets his personal best lap of the race as he battles like mad to stay in touch behind Jarno Trulli. The gap between them is 9.5 seconds. This is the battle for 16th.

Lap 30: Massa is pushing to keep ahead of team-mate Alonso as new soft tyres give him the fastest lap in 1m38.002s.

Lap 31: Hamilton finally pits for soft rubber.

Lap 31: The McLaren pair go wheel-to-wheel and Hamilton fends off Button.

Lap 31: Jaime Alguersuari is shaping up to fight Nico Hulkenberg for tenth place. The gap is 0.4s and this is currently for the final point.

Lap 32: Hamilton and Button are now seventh and eighth, with Alonso ahead still to stop.

Lap 32: What a fantastic move by Alguersuari! He takes the Williams round the outside of Turn 5 and moves up into that tenth place.

Lap 32: Vettel leads by 5.8 seconds over team-mate Webber. Rosberg is third, from Kubica and the yet-to-stop Alonso. Sutil is now sixth.

Lap 33: Alguersuari is now 13 seconds behind Felipe Massa. Hulkenberg will have 12th placed Buemi on his tail soon.

Lap 33: Hamilton sets the fastest lap at 1m37.745s as he enjoys fresh soft tyres.

Lap 34: The McLaren is just 2.6 seconds down on Sutil's Force India and Hamilton will soon be with the German.

Lap 35: Hamilton is now right on the gearbox of Sutil's Force India.

Lap 35: Vitaly Petrov has pulled off the circuit in the Renault. He was in 13th place but is out, handing the position to Rubens Barrichello.

Lap 35: The McLaren has fresh rubber and rapid straight line speed so looks set to make a move.

Lap 35: The pair are close friends off track but Hamilton will surely send a move quite soon.

Lap 36: Encountering Chandhok's HRT, Hamilton closes for a tow down the back straight.

Lap 36: Sebastien Buemi comes into the pits from 12th place. Barrichello moves up and the Swiss falls in behind the Williams in 13th.

Lap 36: They are almost on Alonso's Ferrari but Hamilton still can't get by the Force India.

Lap 37: Lucas di Grassi is actually having a great race in 14th, but the team must surely be concerned that he won;t make it to the finish.

Lap 37: Meanwhile, Felipe Massa is closing quickly on Button's McLaren and Rob Smedley encourages his driver to make a move.

Lap 37: Alonso finally pits his ailing Ferrari.

Lap 37: The Spaniard resumes behind team-mate Massa but ahead of Alguersuari in 9th.

Lap 38: Sutil continues to defend well from Hamilton.

Lap 38: Massa is maintaining a close attendance behind Button's McLaren. These two are now seventh and eighth following Alonso's stop.

Lap 38: Hamilton's progress is being halted by Sutil and that scrap between Button and Massa is closing slowly on the pair.

Lap 39: Sebastien Buemi is very quick on the circuit after his change of tyres. He is 13th but catching Barrichello at almost two seconds per lap.

Lap 39: Rosberg sets his best lap of the day in third and is well on course for his first Mercedes podium.

Lap 40: Massa is right on Button's gearbox as the battle for seventh continues, but 10 seconds behind them, Fernando Alonso is flying after his stop.

Lap 40: Up front, Vettel continues to lead by 3.4 seconds from team-mate Webber, who has been closing slowly in recent laps.

Lap 40: Hamilton continues to pressure Sutil and is still yet to find a way around the German.

Lap 40: Alonso is running two seconds per lap quicker than Button and Massa. The gap is now 7.6 seconds.

Lap 41: The Mercedes-powered Force India is proving strong on the straights and Hamilton doesn't have much of a straight-line advantage here.

Lap 41: Buemi is now just 2.7 seconds down on Rubens Barrichello as a potential battle for 12th shapes up. He is closing at 1.4 seconds per lap.

Lap 41: Alonso finds another 1.6 seconds and is just six behind the Button versus Massa battle for seventh.

Lap 41: "He's too quick on the straights," says Hamilton on his ongoing fight with Sutil.

Lap 42: Buemi is now right on Barrichello's tail and the fight for 12th is now on.

Lap 42: Alonso is a whopping 2.4 seconds faster than Button and Massa on the last lap. We are set for a three-car scrap over seventh very soon.

Lap 43: Sebastien Buemi has had a go somewhere at Rubens Barrichello's 12th place. They were side by side at the end of sector one but the Brazilian holds the position.

Lap 44: Buemi has another go at Turn 1 and the Toro Rosso is up to 12th place ahead of the Brazilian.

Lap 44: Felipe Massa now makes his move on Button at Turn 1 ... and it sticks! Massa is up the inside and up to seventh, as Alonso joins the party.

Lap 44: Webber is 3.1 seconds behind leader Vettel, with Rosberg almost 14 seconds further behind.

Lap 45: Kubica remains a strong fourth for Renault, ahead of the Sutil/Hamilton fight over fifth.

Lap 45: Massa is now six seconds behind the Hamilton versus Sutil fight for fifth.

Lap 46: Now it's Alonso's turn to stare at the rear wing of Button's McLaren. This is the battle for eighth as Barrichello pits.

Lap 46: Celebration for HRT as Chandhok passes Jarno Trulli for 15th position. Admittedly, Trulli has been slowing for a few laps now.

Lap 46: Massa, now clear of Button, sets his best lap of the day and is now closing on Hamilton.

Lap 47: Alonso makes a move on Button round the outside of Turn 1 but the British driver holds his line and keeps eighth place - for now.

Lap 47: Button is of course paying the price for that very early stop to the harder compound.

Lap 48: Fernando Alonso almost loses the rear of the Ferrari exiting Turn 14 as both he and Button pass some traffic. Alonso controls the F10 and continues chasing down the McLaren.

Lap 48: Up front, Red Bull are in a comfortable one-two and must hope the cars finally make it to the flag without problems.

Lap 49: Massa is closing on Hamilton and is now just 2.8 seconds behind.

Lap 49: Hamilton has fallen off the rear wing of Sutil's car over the last couple of laps.

Lap 50: Bruno Senna passes the ailing Jarno Trulli on the Penang straight to take over 16th place for Hispania Racing. The Brazilian is some 37 seconds behind team-mate Chandhok.

Lap 51: Sebastien Buemi is charging after Nico Hulkenberg after his late stop. He is 1.8 seconds per lap quicker but needs to make up 13 seconds in the last five laps to catch the Williams driver.

Lap 51: There isn't a lot of spark in the Sutil, Hamilton Massa pack at the moment with the best fight still that between Button and Alonso.

Lap 52: Lucas di Grassi has backed right off the pace as he lets quicker cars through. Karun Chandhok in 15th is just 26 seconds behind him.

Lap 53: Up front Vettel leads Webber now by six seconds as they head towards a dominant one-two for Red Bull at Sepang.

Lap 53: Nico Rosberg is 20 seconds behind the leader in third, with Kubica fourth. Sutil is fifth with Hamilton still close behind him.

Lap 53: Just three laps to go in Malaysia.

Lap 54: Mark Webber sets the fastest lap of the race, and brings the gap down to 5.4 seconds behind his team-mate.

Lap 54: Massa is around 1.5 seconds behind Hamilton and unable to make up that last bit. Button is eighth and still fending off another hard attack from Alonso.

Lap 55: Jaime Alguersuari is likely to hold on to that final point in tenth spot.

Lap 55: Alonso has a big go at Button's eighth place at Turn 1 but overshoots the corner and Button regains the place.

Lap 55: Immediately there is more trouble for the Spaniard and his Ferrari F10 is smoking heavily.

Lap 56: Alonso pulls off the track with clear engine problems. He is out of the race.

Lap 56: It is the last lap, with Vettel heading for his first win of the year.

Lap 56: Nico Hulkenberg will love Ferrari for this. The young German is about to score his first points for Williams. He moves up from 11th to tenth.

09:37 Sebastian Vettel wins the Malaysian Grand Prix!

09:37 The young German barged through from third on the grid to lead around the first lap before a faultless drive home from the front.

09:37 Webber couldn't hold off his team-mate from the start but drives home for a Red Bull one-two and valuable championship points.

09:37 It's a strong third place for Rosberg as he takes Mercedes GP's first podium finish.

09:38 Kubica again races well to a great fourth for Renault in what has been an impressive start to the season for the Pole.

09:38 Sutil's staunch defence of Hamilton keeps him in an excellent fifth for Force India.

09:38 Another battling drive by Hamilton but he is unlikely to be delighted with sixth.

09:38 A great move on Button gives Massa seventh and the title race lead, while Button comes home eighth at the flag.

09:38 Alguersuari claims ninth from Alonso's late retirement, while Hulkenberg takes his first point in tenth.

09:39 Red Bull are clearly right back in the championship fight after a dominant display today with reliability holding while many others failed to finish.

09:39 Sebastien Buemi brings home the second Toro Rosso in 11th spot, with Barrichello a disappointing 12th after stalling on the grid.

09:40 Fernando Alonso is a classified finisher in 13th position after that late-race engine failure. Lucas di Grassi gives Virgin Racing its first finish with a positive 14th place.

09:41 Rosberg is back in the pits to celebrate his fine third place, while Vettel is still touring in, delighted with his win.

09:41 Karun Chandhok finished 15th for Hispania Racing. He was just 17 seconds behind di Grassi at the end.

09:42 Bruno Senna makes it two HRT machines running to the flag with 16th. Jarno Trulli was 17th after spending half the race battling a mechanical issue.

09:42 Heikki Kovalainen came back out after that 11 minute stop in the garage and the Lotus was running at the end but not classified.

09:44 Six drivers retired from the Malaysian Grand Prix:

Vitaly Petrov pulled off the track with a mechanical problem.
Tonio Liuzzi retired in the pits
Michael Schumacher pulled off the track with a right rear problem.
Kobayashi and Glock both stopped out on track.
Pedro de la Rosa didn't take the start after an engine failure on his lap to the grid.

09:45 The German national anthem plays on the podium for Sebastian Vettel - winner of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

09:45 The Austrian national anthem rings out over Sepang in honour of Red Bull Racing's dominant one-two this afternoon.

09:47 Vettel is overjoyed to finally win a 2010 grand prix, having lead all three races strongly.

09:47 Adrian Newey collects the constructors' trophy after his rapid RB6 takes maximum points today.

09:47 Mark Webber receives his trophy for second place today. It was a gritty drive but he lost out to his team-mate on the opening lap.

09:47 Webber must be wondering in the back of his mind what he needs to do to beat his team-mate.

09:48 Nico Rosberg takes the prize for an excellent podium drive in his Mercedes.

09:49 The champagne sprays at the end of the race with Vettel and Webber rightly giving Adrian Newey a sticky shower in the heat.

09:53 Here's our round-up of the Malaysian Grand Prix:

Vettel leads dominant Red Bull one-two

09:55 Just for once it didn't rain at Sepang and Red Bull demonstrated what it threatened to do at both Bahrain and Australia.

The team took full advantage of good track position while McLaren and Ferrari were struggling, and suddenly the championship race is looking much closer.

Force India will be pleased with Sutil's finish but Williams wil be disappointed to only net one point after a great day yesterday.

HRT and Virgin achieved goals today, so there are good news stories throughout the field.

This was the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend on AUTOSPORT Live. Thanks for joining us during the last three days, and we will be back for the next chapter of the 2010 season - the Chinese Grand Prix in two weeks' time.

Race length: 56 laps
Mainly cloudy High Temp: 32°C / 90°F
Track: Dry
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Monday 29 Mar Start GMT
 Malaysian Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 02 Apr
 Friday Morning Practice 01:45
 Friday Afternoon Practice 05:45
Saturday 03 Apr
 Saturday Practice 04:45
 Qualifying 07:45
Sunday 04 Apr
 Race day at Sepang 06:30