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As it happened: Sunday - Malaysian Grand Prix
By Pablo Elizalde, Jonathan Noble, Andrew van Leeuwen, Edd Straw, Charles Bradley, Ben Anderson and Scott Mitchell
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
06:26 Good morning AUTOSPORT Live readers, it's Malaysian Grand Prix race day at Sepang.

06:28 Over the next quite-a-few-hours, we'll be bringing you all the pre-race build-up as the start nears, including the thoughts of all the main protagonists, lap-by-lap commentary on the race, full post-race news and analysis, plus updates from elsewhere in the motorsport world.

And then after a very short break, AUTOSPORT Live will switch to Race Centre Live mode to bring you the reverse-grid leg of the British Touring Car Championship opener at Brands Hatch, the Indy Lights and IndyCar season-openers from St Petersburg, and the latest round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup from Martinsville.

06:33 First piece of important news: it's not currently raining.

Malaysian GP qualifying06:34 Yesterday, it did rain. A lot. And that meant a delayed qualifying session, although it was well worth the wait as a fascinating battle then unfolded.

Lewis Hamilton kept Mercedes on top, but it was close:

Malaysian GP qualifying report: Hamilton fends off Vettel

06:46 We haven't seen too many grid penalties yet this year, though Valtteri Bottas has had one at each race. His drop from 15th to 18th is the only change on the grid:

Final Malaysian GP starting grid

And the Finn also became the first F1 driver to receive penalty points.

06:48 One more thing for your pre-race catch-up: head to AUTOSPORT's partner FORIX for the full run-down of all 22 drivers' quotes from the weekend so far, plus their results in each session:

Driver quotes and data on FORIX

Pop a bookmark on that page too as post-race it's your gateway to every single driver's full race laptimes plus gap charts, just click on each driver's name for the data.

Jenson Button06:51 BEN ANDERSON: McLaren doesn't have the pace to fight at the front in Malaysia, so it's unlikely to retain its status as constructors' championship leader after this race.

Jenson Button reckons the Mercedes drivers are going to be difficult to beat today, if they have a clean run, which would likely propel second placed Mercedes above McLaren in the title race.

"They proved their pace in Melbourne," said Button. "In the race I don't think they were giving it everything. After Lewis' problem, I think Nico probably backed off a little bit.

"Here, when they turn everything up and go for a lap, they've proved that they are very, very fast. They're good in high-speed corners, which is helping them a lot in terms of consistency in a run, and they're not overheating their tyres, if you look at their laptimes in a run.

"Somebody could give them a run for their money, I hope they do tomorrow. But for us, we have to concentrate on where we are, and who we can race."

07:06 Plenty going on outside F1 this weekend as the 2014 motorsport season commences in earnest.

It's season-opening weekend for both the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch and IndyCar on the streets of St Petersburg.

Ex-F1 man Takuma Sato showed his street track prowess again to take pole in St Pete, while it's reigning champion Andrew Jordan who will lead the packed BTCC grid away at Brands later today.

Elsewhere, it's been a good weekend for eagerly-awaited new cars.

Porsche's 919 Hybrid topped the official World Endurance Championship test at Paul Ricard, but GARY WATKINS explains why its outpacing of Audi and Toyota might not be all it seems.

And in Greece, the Peugeot 208 T16 is leading the Acropolis Rally in Craig Breen's hands on its European Rally Championship debut. If you want to see that car in action, head to the AUTOSPORT rallying page for videos.

07:06 JONATHAN NOBLE: Lewis Hamilton is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve. It means you can tell a lot about his state of mind by how his mood is in his press briefings.

On Saturday, he was full of beans – and understandably so after grabbing a well-earned pole position in tricky wet conditions.

All eyes though are on delivering points today though, having seen a decent result in Australia evaporate after a cylinder dropped because of a failure in a small blue rubber tube that held the spark plug.

"I feel like I am still in the best position I can possibly be in," he said.

"It will be a dream to win the race and I will do everything I possibly can throughout this evening and tomorrow to try to get that.

"This will be a special race to win, particularly with the incident that happened a few weeks ago with the plane. Hopefully as a team we can shine a light on this country."

07:18 JONATHAN NOBLE: Sebastian Vettel caused some raised eyebrows from Nico Rosberg in the post-qualifying press conference on Saturday when he suggested he had got blocked by his Mercedes rival.

I asked Rosberg about the incident on Saturday night and he dismissed it completely.

"That is not right," he said. "I was about two and a half seconds in front, and you just don’t see anything when you are 2.5 seconds away.

"I am sure it was difficult for him to see but you cannot consider that anywhere near holding up."

McLaren07:18 With such a big rule change for teams to get their heads around, this was always going to be a year of ferocious technical development - and the upgrade race has already started.

AUTOSPORT's technical expert CRAIG SCARBOROUGH rounds up the main innovations and upgrades seen in the Sepang pitlane, plus some of the changes teams are having to make for cooling reasons.

Malaysian GP technical blog

07:28 BEN ANDERSON: Kevin Magnussen is the second Magnussen to race for McLaren in Formula 1, following in the footsteps of his father Jan, who started the 1995 Pacific Grand Prix for the Woking squad.

Magnussen Sr is in Malaysia this weekend to support his son, and Kevin is delighted to have his dad around for moral support.

"He hasn't been to many races in my career, but it's always nice to have any family around," said Magnussen Jr.

"It's good to have one guy, one person from the family. If I have more, I want to spend time with them and if there are many people, I feel it's distracting. But one person is really good."

07:32 Problem for Sergio Perez as he tries to make a practice start at the end of the pitlane. He's been collected by the Force India mechanics and is being brought back towards the garage.

07:34 BEN ANDERSON: "Air temperature is 33 degrees celsius (track is 55), so it's set to be a scorching Malaysian Grand Prix. No sign of any rain yet either. If it stays dry it's going to be a tough race for the cars and drivers."

Pastor Maldonado07:35 EDD STRAW: Pastor Maldonado was frustrated at missing out on Q2, which he blamed on the red flag caused by Marcus Ericsson's crash, so will start down in 17th. But he is delighted at the progress the team has made, with running on Saturday relatively smooth. So he goes into the race hoping for his first finish of 2014.

"We had a normal day without any problems, all was clean. This is very important for the team, especially as they have been working very hard to have a competitive car, to have everything working to be at the top. It's a clear step forward from the last race and we need to continue like that.

"The main focus is to finish the race, we need it. With both cars it will be very good from the team from the development point of view, for performance, to have more data about the temperatures, about so many things at the moment that we are missing.

"Last race we went completely blind into the race and everything was working in the range, then we had the MGU-K problem. We've been working well with Renault, there's a clear improvement in terms of reliability, which is very important to us. We can go into the race and push as hard as we can."

07:38 JONATHAN NOBLE: One of the fascinating aspects of qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix was how Red Bull was again able to get so close to Mercedes on pace.

During the dry FP3, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were about one second clear of their closest challenger – but in the wet that advantage disappeared.

There is no obvious explanation for why a car that is so dominant in the wet should not maintain that advantage when it rains – but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff reckoned it could have something to do with engine driveability rather than different downforce levels.

"You can see sector two that needs a lot of downforce was not the quickest sector of Sebastian," he said.

"I think it comes back to driveability, maybe less power is better. Torque kicking in, downforce of course and then for sure we have an advantage with our engine that maybe in the wet we cannot use it. Exiting corners, traction, you don't have enough grip…"

07:42 EDD STRAW: Valtteri Bottas was disappointed by the conditions and was certain he could have qualified well inside the top 10 had it been dry.

He's hoping for a dry race to allow him to stage a Melbourne-style charge up the order, as he starts 18th after being hit with a three-place grid penalty for impeding Daniel Ricciardo in Q2.

"It was quite a similar qualifying to Melbourne for us. At the beginning, when there was a bit less water in Q1 it was still more or less driveable, we were clearly in the top 10, which was not too bad. But then there was this step more of water in Q2.

"When the track is slower, the more time we spend in the corners and the more we are traction limited, the more you see the weaknesses in the car. There is no question we are more competitive in the dry, but it's difficult to say exactly where we would have been.

"If it's dry, we have a good chance again definitely to get into the top 10. Where in the top 10? Unknown. Hopefully closer to the top six but if it's wet we know that it could be a very difficult day."

07:43 With the race just over 15 minutes away, the track temperature is up at 51C and the ambient at 33C.

Kevin Magnussen07:45 BEN ANDERSON: Magnussen will start eighth on the grid for his second race in Formula 1, but McLaren's Melbourne podium hero was lucky to make it through to the final segment of qualifying yesterday, after sliding into the gravel at the final turn while on a quick lap.

"It was a mistake from me," he admitted. "It's quite misty, and the spray doesn't really settle in the last corner. I missed my braking point, locked up, locked the rears, went sideways.

"But I could change down as I was coming through the gravel and keep going. Quite lucky, really!"

07:46 Looks like Sergio Perez is destined to start from the pitlane, if at all. He picked up an engine problem while on one of his reconnaissance laps. The Mexican reported a loss of power and ended up in limp-home mode.

07:47 The poignant one minute of silence in memory of the lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has just taken place on the grid. Now moved onto the national anthem.

07:51 BEN ANDERSON: Jean-Eric Vergne continued his strong start to the new season by again getting his Toro Rosso through to Q3 in challenging conditions. He'll start ninth in today's race.

But the Frenchman told AUTOSPORT after qualifying that he is concerned his car has been steadily losing pace since setting the sixth fastest time in first free practice.

"We're not where we should be," he said. "The performance seems to have been going down session after session for the whole weekend, so we need to investigate to see if something is wrong. My feeling has been getting worse since FP1. We need to understand why."

07:51 JONATHAN NOBLE: Just back from a very hot trip to the grid. Although there are predictions for rain, the opening phase of the Malaysian GP at least will be dry.

Chatting to several engineers, it looks like it will be a three-stop race - with the medium compound the preferred choice

07:52 EDD STRAW: Felipe Massa expressed concerns coming into the weekend that Williams risks slipping down the order if updates aren't forthcoming. He was frustrated with the wet weather conditions and the fact that the Williams FW36 is still an uncompetitive proposition in the wet.

Massa has looked the stronger Williams driver throughout the weekend and will line up 13th.

"It's really difficult. We are struggling massively with the rain and the more water you have on the track, the more we struggle. Sometimes you say 'ah, he's not quick, he didn't do a good job because he's not quick in the rain' but this is the reality. I said this in Australia and I've been pushing the team since the first test that we need to increase the downforce of the car quickly.

"Unfortunately, we didn't have anything new for this race, we had the same car as we had in Australia. It's a competitive car, we can fight. If you remove Mercedes, which is one second in front of everybody, you have a lot of cars together and we are there in the fight. But it's another race where we are not starting in our position."

07:53 Seems that Force India has a software problem with Sergio Perez's car. It's being worked on in the hope that the Mexican can start the race from the pits.

07:55 JONATHAN NOBLE: I bumped in to Toto Wolff on the grid, who says one of the big issues of the day is going to be cooling.

Reliability had been a big concern in Australia but in the end the attrition rate was not as high as some had predicted. With air temperature currently 32C, things could be very different this afternoon.

07:55 EDD STRAW: If the rain gets involved, obviously all bets are off but if the race is dry, it's most likely to be a three-stop race, although two stops is worth considering and track temperatures will have a say in making that possible.

Expect the orthodox approach in normal race conditions to be a medium/medium/medium/hard, but with a few perhaps attempting to pull off a two-stopper.

But keep an eye on conditions, which will have a big influence on what strategic options are open to teams.

07:59 JONATHAN NOBLE: One thing we have not talked about much this year is tyre degradation - and the impact it has on the competitive order.

Last year Mercedes had big issues looking after its rear tyres. Has it banished those blues this year? We should find out today.

07:59 Mechanics are clearing the grid, tyre blankets are off. We're about to get going.

08:00 Everybody is starting on the medium compound tyres, the softer of the two on offer this weekend.

08:00 Parade lap begins, the whole field away fine bar Perez, who is waiting in the pitlane.

08:02 Perez has gone for the hard tyres for his first stint. All drivers on the grid are on mediums.

08:02 BEN ANDERSON: Watch out for another charge through the field from Valtteri Bottas in this race. He's starting 18th after another grid penalty, but as he showed in Melbourne the Williams has fantastic race pace.

08:02 The leaders have come around the final hairpin and are forming up on the grid.

08:03 Still waiting for the final cars to get into place. Top half of the grid ready to go.

08:03 30% risk of rain during the race according to the FIA weather update.

08:03 We're ready for the race.

08:04 Lights coming on.

08:04 Lights out and Rosberg challenging Vettel for second.

08:04 Hamilton leads Rosberg into Turn 1, Vettel tries to attack the Mercedes for second on the outside.

08:04 Ricciardo now has a run at Vettel as his team-mate hassles Rosberg for second.

08:05 Hamilton has a clear lead as his main rivals are all over each other behind.

08:05 Bianchi and Maldonado have a coming together and both end up facing the wrong way.

08:05 Ricciardo managed to get past Vettel amid that dice, he's third.

08:06 Hamilton completes lap one two seconds clear of Rosberg, who has Ricciardo and Vettel on his tail.

08:06 Hulkenberg gets around the outside of Alonso at Turn 1 to take fifth place.

08:08 Kimi Raikkonen's day has got off to a terrible start. He's currently limping back to pitlane with a puncture.

08:08 JONATHAN NOBLE: It is hard not to be impressed with the job that Red Bull has done since that awful first test in Jerez.

Many people wrote the team off completely just one month ago - now they are breathing hard down the neck of Mercedes.

08:08 Hamilton is trying to break his pursuers early, he puts 1.2s on his team-mate Rosberg on lap two to bring his lead up to 3.2s.

08:08 Vettel is keeping pressure on Ricciardo for third.

08:09 Button passes Magnussen for seventh and sets off after Hulkenberg and Alonso.

08:09 Raikkonen is back on track with a new set of the softer compound tyre.

08:09 Raikkonen says: "I don't know what happened to the tyre because I didn't touch anybody" His team suggests it was possibly debris.

08:10 Vettel hits the DRS and sweeps past Ricciardo for third place into Turn 1.

08:10 Hamilton continues to storm away, his lead is four seconds after three laps.

08:10 Alonso has repassed Hulkenberg for fifth.

08:10 Vergne complains about his engine's power output: "You'd better have a better engine otherwise I'm not going very far, it's so slow."

08:11 Rosberg, who is reporting high rear tyre wear, stabilises the gap, taking a tenth back from Hamilton.

08:12 Now he's passed Ricciardo, Vettel is matching the Mercedes' pace.

08:12 The Maldonado/Bianchi crash will be investigated by the stewards.

08:12 Fastest first sector time from Rosberg on this lap, is he going to come back at Hamilton?

08:12 Kvyat barges his way past Gutierrez for 11th.

08:13 Replays show that Rosberg's getaway swiftly took him into second, but that a lot of wheelspin out of Turn 2 allowed the Red Bulls to attack him - and each other.

08:13 Fastest lap of the race from Hamilton, a 1m47.428s, brings his lead up to 4.3s

08:13 Both the Mercedes are in the 1m47s, then the Red Bulls and Alonso are in mid-1m48s.

08:14 Magnussen is told to carry on with his front wing damage until the first pitstop after that earlier clash with Raikkonen.

08:14 BEN ANDERSON: If Vergne does have an engine problem it might explain why he feels he's been steadily losing pace through this weekend. He was sixth fastest in FP1, but told me after qualifying yesterday that he suspected his car might have a problem.

"We’re not where we should be,” he said. “The performance seems to have been going down session after session for the whole weekend, so we need to investigate to see if something is wrong. My feeling has been getting worse since FP1. We need to understand why.”

08:15 Rosberg takes fastest lap now on a 1m47.321s, 0.2s faster than Hamilton that time around.

08:16 Vettel is 2.6s behind Rosberg in third, with a one-second gap to Ricciardo and then another second to Alonso.

08:16 Not a happy camp at Williams as Bottas is told not to attack Massa: "Did you see what he did?!" complains Felipe. Bottas responds: "I have more pace than him."

08:16 Alonso has pulled out a couple of seconds over Hulkenberg after their early battle for fifth.

08:16 And Bianchi has been given a five second penalty for hitting Maldonado.

08:16 Fastest lap back to Hamilton. A 1m47.048s pulls his lead up to 4.7s.

08:16 Jules Bianchi will be able to take his five-second penalty at his first pitstop. He can stop at his pit, and serve his punishment before the team gets to work on fitting some fresh rubber.

08:17 Maldonado's woes continue; he's just been asked by the team to retire the car.

08:17 Since passing McLaren team-mate Magnussen for seventh, Button has been able to pull clear but can't gain on Hulkenberg.

08:17 EDD STRAW: "The five-second penalty for Bianchi is the first time we have seen this new penalty applied. It will have to be served at his next pitstop, with five extra seconds of time spent sitting in the pit-box with the car not being worked on."

08:18 Rosberg questions the length of his first stint: "That's a lot of laps" after being told he's got another eight to run.

08:19 Hamilton adds another half-second to his lead over Rosberg, it's now 5.2s after eight laps.

08:19 Rosberg has been reporting rear tyre degredation for a few laps now and he's asked if he needs a front-wing flap adjustment at his pitstop. "Errrrm, down point-four," he says.

08:20 EDD STRAW: "Williams should think about letting Bottas past Massa to have a go at Magnussen. Magnussen isn't lapping particularly quickly, possibly thanks to front wing damage sustained in that clash with Raikkonen. Williams need to get both cars past Magnussen to stop losing so much time to seventh-placed Button. Right now, Williams is losing laptime that it won't get back but what needs to be avoided is the two team-mates scrapping and slowing down. So maybe let Bottas have a go and hope Massa can follow him through."

08:21 EDD STRAW: "All of which has been rendered irrelevant by Magnussen pitting! Interesting to see whether Massa and Bottas can pick up the pace and close the 7.3 second gap to Button."

08:21 Hamilton continues to add a little to his lead, it's now 5.4s.

08:21 Vettel, Ricciardo and Alonso stretched out very slightly on that last lap, though the trio are still covered by 2.8s.

08:22 Hamilton is told to take it easy on traction at Turn 15: "Nothing to worry about though," he is reassured.

08:22 JONATHAN NOBLE: Remember that when the rear light flashes on the back of cars, it indicates that the car is doing what is known as 'soft' fuel saving.

This is automatically done by the car - and warns pursuing drivers that the car could be unexpectedly slow on certain sections of the track.

08:22 Hamilton is 0.8s faster than Rosberg on lap 10, so now leads by 6.2s.

08:23 Alonso's pace is fading now. He was matching the Red Bulls early on but was 1.5s off Vettel on that lap.

08:23 EDD STRAW: "Sure enough, Massa and Bottas are catching Button now that Magnussen is out of the way."

08:23 Hamilton is told: "You're doing a great job of managing the fuel, just push on, and on the tyres just look after them."

08:24 Having just pitted for a new front wing, Magnussen has now been given a five-second penalty for hitting Raikkonen. He'll serve it during his next stop.

08:24 Alonso is the first frontrunner to pit.

08:25 The gap between the two Red Bulls is now up to 2.2s.

08:25 Alonso stayed with mediums at that stop, saving the hards for later.

08:26 Ricciardo pits from fourth place, he should have been far enough ahead of Alonso not to get undercut jumped.

08:26 EDD STRAW: "Hamilton is in a great position here. Has a comfortable 6.3s cushion up front so there's a bit of margin for error that allows Mercedes to push on as long as they can on this first set of mediums with him."

08:26 Vettel is told: "Default map 13, default 1-3." Which just happens to coincide with the numbers of his car and team-mate Ricciardo's... Who could forget "multi 21" last year?

08:26 Alonso sweeps ahead of Ricciardo into Turn 1 as the Red Bull rejoins.

08:27 But Ricciardo fights back immediately and gets in front again.

08:27 Bottas is told: "This is the time to push, we're going to stay out for a few more laps."

08:27 Pitting earlier allowed Alonso to gain a lot of ground on Ricciardo. Vettel will now be under threat.

08:27 Vettel responds and pits.

08:27 Kvyat has just set the fastest lap of the race with a 1m46.923s.

08:27 EDD STRAW: "Ricciardo has made a good start to the season. After his strong performance in Australia, he's doing a decent job here. While not quite as quick as Vettel, he was able to sit behind him in fourth after being passed by his team-mate. Showed he is good in the wheel-to-wheel stuff too."

08:27 Button also pits.

08:28 Vettel asked for "minus-four" on his front flap during that stop.

08:28 Up front, the Mercedes are now 6.6s apart.

08:28 Vettel rejoins right in front of Ricciardo, behind the yet-to-pit Bottas.

08:29 Vettel outaccelerates Bottas and Ricciardo quickly follows him.

08:29 Rosberg coming in now.

08:29 Alonso having a harder time overtaking Bottas but now does it.

08:31 Hamilton pits one lap later than Rosberg. They were 6.6s apart before these stops.

08:31 The Mercedes went to laps 14 and 15 of 56 before coming in.

08:31 Bottas has now made his first stop, and is now 12th.

08:31 Hulkenberg hasn't stopped yet and now leads.

08:32 Vettel sets the fastest lap, a 1m46.334s. He's just ahead of Ricciardo and they're dropping alonso.

08:32 Hamilton is told this will be a "similar length stint" and there was no front-flap adjustment.

08:32 Hulkenberg is immediately under huge pressure from Hamilton.

08:32 Hamilton overtakes Hulkenberg and reclaims the lead.

08:32 EDD STRAW: "Remember the complaints last year that Daniil Kvyat wasn't ready for F1? Well, the 19-year-old became F1's youngest points-scorer in the Australian GP and is now performing very well and again in a position to go for a top 10 finish.

"Shame that Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, who started ahead of him after qualifying ninth, had that terrible start that has ruined his race. Looked like it might not have been a poor start of his own making, so perhaps JEV's 2013 bad luck has returned."

08:33 Hulkenberg now heads for the pits. He's made it to lap 16.

08:35 Hamilton does a new fastest lap of 1m46.190s on his first proper flying lap on those new tyres.

08:35 Hamilton's lap is a second faster than Rosberg that time and brings his lead up to 9.4s.

08:35 Ricciardo is told: "Suggest you drop back a bit more to look after the tyres, aim for 2secs."

08:35 EDD STRAW: "Hulkenberg went longer than anyone else on medium-compound Pirellis there. Two-stop is certainly on the cards there. He's not the only one in that kind of position and it will be interesting to see what Mercedes does as Hamilton's 15-lap first stint is bang on the kind of schedule you might want for a two-stopper."

08:35 Raikkonen in the thick of things at the tail end. He splits the squabbling pair of Ericsson and Vergne, who almost shunt at Turn 1.

08:36 Vettel has gained on Rosberg through that pit sequence and is now just 1.9s behind second place.

08:36 In fourth place, Ricciardo is 2.2s behind Vettel and 2.5s ahead of Alonso.

08:36 Ricciardo points out: "If something goes on I want to be a part of it."

08:37 Hulkenberg's long stint didn't help him catch Alonso, there's 9.4s between them - though the Force India just set the best first sector of anyone so far today.

08:37 Rosberg does his best lap of the afternoon, a 1m46.683s, to pull 0.4s back on Hamilton.

08:37 That lap from Rosberg also gets his gap over Vettel back up to 2.1s.

08:38 JONATHAN NOBLE: Looking at that great FOM graphic showing fuel use so far, it is interesting to see that Williams stands out as having used a lot less than anyone else. Could it be saving things up for a charge at the end of the race?

08:38 EDD STRAW: "Vettel told to keep a couple of seconds gap to Rosberg. That's not a refusal to fight, it's the recognition that the best chance to get ahead of the Mercedes might be around the end of this stint/the start of the next one."

08:39 Raikkonen pits and takes on the hard tyre.

08:39 Rosberg sets another personal best of 1m46.621s, but it's still half a tenth slower than Hamilton on that lap.

08:39 The gap between the Mercedes is 9.1s after 19 of 56 laps.

08:40 BEN ANDERSON: I bet Caterham was delighted to see rookie Marcus Ericsson hold off 2007 world champion Raikkonen in a Ferrari, before the Finn headed for the pits. Normally you would expect a Ferrari to make mincemeat of a Caterham!

08:41 BEN ANDERSON: Vergne out of the race after 20 laps, so I guess that lack of power he reported became terminal.

08:42 Again Rosberg does a personal best for the race, and again Hamilton is slightly faster still.

08:42 So, after the first round of stops, here is the running order:

1 Hamilton
2 Rosberg
3 Vettel
4 Ricciardo
5 Alonso
6 Hulkenberg
7 Button
8 Massa
9 Kvyat
10 Bottas
11 Magnussen
12 Grosjean
13 Sutil
14 Gutierrez
15 Kobayashi
16 Chilton
17 Ericsson
18 Raikkonen
Ret Vergne
Ret Bianchi
Ret Maldonado
Ret Perez

08:43 Rosberg isn't able to shake off Vettel, who is a tenth faster than him and just a tenth slower than Hamilton.

08:44 Finally Rosberg does a personal best that isn't slower than Hamilton. But he only takes a tenth back. Gap: 9.6s.

08:44 Hamilton is told they're going to manage his engine: "We're just going to turn it down a little bit, it's on both cars."

08:45 JONATHAN NOBLE: With the fuel flow sensor having failed on Ricciardo's car, Red Bull will be basing its fuel data off its own calculations - just as it did in Australia.

The difference this time though is that the FIA is allowing them to do so - whereas in Australia the governing body was adamant the fuel sensor was accurate

08:45 Kvyat pits and takes on a set of the harder tyres.

08:46 A nervous-sounding Hamilton asks: "Anything more I can do to look after this engine?" He's told to "keep doing what you're doing".

08:46 Though Rosberg isn't making any inroads on Hamilton, he's inching away from Vettel. That gap's now 3.2s.

08:46 Vettel now 3.9s clear of Ricciardo, who has the same gap to Alonso.

08:46 Hulkenberg is closing on Alonso for sixth. The gap was 9s after the stops, now it's 6s.

08:47 Hamilton wasn't far off his fastest lap pace that time, pulling another 0.4s on Rosberg and bringing the lead to 9.9s.

08:48 Hulkenberg takes another second off Alonso, whose pace has dropped as the stint goes on again.

08:49 Button manages to increase his lead over Massa by a tenth on that lap. Currently 2.1s between the pair in the battle for seventh.

08:49 Magnussen pits and serves his five-second penalty for hitting Raikkonen earlier in the race.

08:50 Alonso raises his pace by nearly half a second, but still Hulkenberg is six tenths faster. The gap down to 4.4s.

08:50 BEN ANDERSON: Hulkenberg pulling back time on Alonso at the moment, as they resume their personal battle from Australia - this time for fifth place.

Hulkenberg continues to impress every time he jumps in the Force India, maintaining the strong form he showed for Sauber in the latter stages of last season.

08:50 Rosberg is happy with his car's balance, and doesn't require a front-wing flap adjust at his upcoming stop.

08:50 JONATHAN NOBLE: It is understandable that Lewis Hamilton is being cautious about his engine - because he is using the same power unit that failed in Australia.

AUTOSPORT revealed earlier this week that the Melbourne GP retirement was caused by a small hole in a rubber spark plug holder.

Mercedes is confident that there was no lasting damage - but its engine chief Andy Cowell says that it cannot be totally sure.

"I am a very careful engineer," he said on Friday night. "Lots of people asked me before FP1 if it was OK, and I said I was 90 per cent certain.

"We have done FP1 and FP2, so that made me 90-something percent certain. And when we retire it at the end of its full life, then I will say I am 100 per cent certain."

08:51 Tidy stop for Button.

08:51 Hamilton gets his lead into double figures for the first time, it's 10.1s after 26 laps.

08:51 Vettel requests "minus-three" on his front wing at his upcoming stop.

08:52 Gutierrez, having made a second stop, squeezes his way past Ericsson and Chilton to nab 16th place.

08:53 Kvyat, also fresh from a stop, passes Kobayashi for 10th.

08:53 Ricciardo is going to go "up a couple of clicks" on his front wing.

08:53 Alonso is the first top-six man to pit again, stopping on lap 27.

08:53 Alonso takes hards for this stint.

08:54 Up front, Rosberg is pegging Hamilton at 10.1s, and is 3.4s ahead of Vettel, who is 5.8s clear of Ricciardo.

08:54 Massa has now pitted, and he slots back in behind Button.

08:55 Ricciardo now pits.

08:55 Magnussen sets the fastest lap with a 1m46.110s.

08:55 Alonso does his best sectors of the race so far on his out-lap but can't vault Ricciardo that time. The Red Bull rejoins ahead.

08:55 Undercutting by a lap has brought Alonso closer to Ricciardo again, though.

08:56 EDD STRAW: "Hard tyre pace seems to be slightly better than expected, which is why we are seeing more than expected going for two-stoppers. Will be interesting late on, as there will be a mix of two and three stoppers battling at the end of the race."

08:57 Ricciardo does a great out-lap to get the gap to Alonso back to 4.7s.

08:58 Running longer than Alonso doesn't look helpful for Hulkenberg, who is now losing 0.6s to the Ferrari. But can the Force India make one stop less...?

08:58 BEN ANDERSON: Kobayashi is making up for a disastrous Australian Grand Prix with a fine drive here in Malaysia so far. The Japanese is ahead of both Saubers and mixing it nicely with Grosjean's Lotus at the moment.

08:59 Hamilton is told: "Possible threat of rain towards the end of the race, clouds are forming."

09:00 Grosjean finally gets the jobs done on Kobayashi to take 12th.

09:00 EDD STRAW: "That scrap at Turn 15 and on the main straight between Kobayashi and Grosjean on the previous lap was an interesting one. The detection point, where the FIA checks to see if you are within one second of the car in front to be allowed to use the DRS, is in the middle of the corner. Grosjean attacked and got ahead and triggered the DRS detection first. Kobayashi then had the advantage of the DRS use on the main straight himself in the activation zone. Good racecraft. The following lap, Grosjean held back so the same thing didn't happen and made his move later."

09:01 Vettel makes his second pitstop.

09:01 Rosberg is told to come in next time to cover off the Red Bull.

09:01 Pastor Maldonado says his retirement had nothing to do with his crash with Bianchi, and was instead to due with an engine problem.

"No, it was not damage from the incident at all, it was something on the engine. We were losing a lot of power and then we decided to retire to save the engine.

"Now we are anlaysing what’s happened there. For sure we have already lost an engine so we need to save the car."

09:01 Vettel stuck with mediums for this next stint.

09:02 Rosberg pits. Vettel was setting the best sector times of the race so far on his out-lap.

09:02 Kobayashi pits from 13th.

09:02 Rosberg rejoins ahead of Vettel, but not by much.

09:02 Bottas sets a new fastest lap – 1m45.475s.

09:02 EDD STRAW: "Plenty of teams opting to stick to a three-stopper and keep the hard tyre use to a minimum. Probably a sensible move, particularly if you have a quick car."

09:02 Mercedes calls Hamilton for his pitstop next.

09:03 Hamilton comes in, he should keep the lead, with Hulkenberg now too far back for another cameo.

09:03 Both Mercedes have stuck with mediums.

09:04 Vettel sets a new fastest lap of 1m44.779s and brings the gap to Rosberg down to just 0.7s.

09:04 The Red Bull is now within DRS range of the Mercedes for second.

09:06 Adrian Sutil's Sauber is parked just after the exit of the last corner.

09:06 Hulkenberg pits and takes on hards. Can he get to the end on two stops?

09:06 Vettel has the gap to Rosberg down to 0.5s.

09:07 Raikkonen reports that it's raining a little bit at the back of the circuit.

09:07 Hamilton's lead is up to 11.7s, and Rosberg does his best lap of the day so far to get the Vettel cushion to one second.

09:08 "Fuel is OK, just hit the beeps" is Red Bull's instruction to Ricciardo.

09:08 BEN ANDERSON: If the rain Raikkonen reports intensifies it will scupper Hulkenberg's gamble on a two stop strategy. He'll be praying for it to hold off I should imagine.

09:09 Hamilton reports "some very small drops of rain on my visor" out of Turn 9.

09:09 Mercedes tells Hamilton he needs to "take care and lose half a second" in the final sector to show he's acknowledging the yellows for Sutil's stranded car.

09:09 Alonso has stayed in touch with Ricciardo better on the hard tyres so far. The gap is 2.0s in the battle for fourth.

09:10 Gutierrez switches off in pitlane. Seems like he's not going anywhere. Could be that both Saubers are soon to be out of the race.

09:11 Vettel suggests over the radio that Rosberg's car is losing "either oil or water".

09:11 Alonso does his best lap of the race and takes a half-second off Ricciardo for fourth. Gap now 1.5s.

09:11 Hamilton's lead over Rosberg is 11.8s with 19 laps to go.

09:12 "Sebastian, we have to use second gear in Turns 1, 2 and 9," asks Red Bull.

09:12 A possibly concerned Ricciardo asks his team what tyre Alonso is using.

09:13 Hulkenberg is lapping faster than both Ricciardo and Alonso too, but is 10.5s behind.

09:14 Rosberg is six tenths faster than Hamilton, bringing the gap down to 11.2s and getting his lead over Vettel to a safer two seconds.

09:14 Massa is closing in on Button in seventh place. Gap is currently under a second.

09:15 BEN ANDERSON: Vettel's report of Rosberg losing oil or water from the back of his Mercedes might be symptomatic of a minor engine issue that could be holding Rosberg back in this race and preventing him carrying the fight to team-mate Hamilton, who is 11 seconds up the road.

09:16 Vettel tells engineer 'Rocky' not to mumble... "Speak up when you're talking"

09:16 Magnussen makes his last stop.

09:16 Rosberg laps just 0.019s shy of Vettel's current fastest race lap mark with a 1m44.796s.

09:16 Ricciardo comes in for his third and final stop. He'll take hards now.

09:17 Problem with the front left tyre for Ricciardo!

09:17 Ricciardo was sent out too early and is ordered to stop in the pitlane.

09:17 Disaster for Ricciardo, who is being dragged back down the pitlane by his team.

09:17 It appears Ricciardo's left front wheel wasn't fully attached.

09:18 Ricciardo spotted the problem immediately, shouting "my front's not on" down the radio.

09:18 Red Bull tightens the wheel and Ricciardo rejoins, but he is a full lap behind former adversary Alonso now.

09:19 Red Bull will now be investigated for an "unsafe release".

09:19 Fourth place now in his hands, Alonso is ordered to make his final stop.

09:19 JONATHAN NOBLE: Teams can take no risks when it comes to releasing a car on to the track with loose wheels - as there is the chance of a big penalty when it happens.

Red Bull realised quickly that something had gone wrong, but by then Ricciardo was on his way.

09:20 But Alonso will fall behind Hulkenberg, who doesn't have to pit again if he can make his current hard tyres last to the end.

09:20 Smooth stop for Alonso.

09:21 Things have gone from bad to worse for Ricciardo. His front wing is destroyed.

09:21 Rosberg has been chipping away at Hamilton's lead a bit of late. Gap now 10.9s. Thirteen laps left.

09:21 JONATHAN NOBLE: What a shame for Ricciardo. It looks like a race with no points despite another strong weekend performance wise.

09:22 Looks like the front wing on Ricciardo's car has simply failed. And it's cut the front-right-right tyre as well.

09:22 Alonso is straight on it on his out-lap but is 14.3s behind Hulkenberg. If Force India can make a two-stop work, Alonso has to fight for fourth.

09:23 Ricciardo's now in the pits for a new nose/front wing and set of tyres.

09:23 New fastest lap for Hamilton in 1m44.329s.

09:23 Hamilton's lap was 0.9s quicker than Rosberg that time around so his lead is now 11.8s.

09:24 Rosberg has dropped Vettel though after that brief threat. The gap's 6.8s and Vettel is being told "respect the fuel" by Red Bull.

09:25 Vettel is told that Red Bull wants to minimise its time on the hard tyre, so he'll be staying out for a bit yet.

09:25 Hamilton goes half a second faster than Rosberg again to increase his lead to 12.3s.

09:25 Ricciardo has now been given a 10-second stop-go penalty for unsafe release. The Aussie's day is well and truly done.

09:26 Alonso's pursuit of Hulkenberg is on. The Ferrari is 1.8s quicker than the Force India and 10.8s behind.

09:26 EDD STRAW: "With Ricciardo having to serve a 10-second stop/go, wouldn't be surprised if Red Bull retire him to save the engine and also to allow a fresh gearbox to be put in for Bahrain. Not much chance of points unless a load of cars hit trouble from here."

09:27 The fight for sixth is well and truly on between Button and Massa. Button is defending hard, but Massa looks quick.

09:27 Another 1.7s out of Hulkenberg's lead for Alonso. The Ferrari is on course.

09:29 "Situation is there are nine laps left, we still need to switch to hard tyres, we are just waiting for strategy," Mercedes tells Rosberg.

09:30 Alonso does a new fastest race lap of 1m44.165s, getting the gap to Hulkenberg down to 7.2s.

09:31 Red Bull tells Vettel that the Turn 14 exit kerb is "the problem for the front wing", sounds like it's identified what caused Ricciardo's breakage.

09:31 Hamilton's lead over Rosberg is up to 13.8s.

09:32 "OK Sebastian, we need a small bit of fuel," says Red Bull. The champion is now eight seconds off Rosberg in third but half a minute clear of Hulkenberg.

09:32 Button quicker than Massa last lap. Has steadied the gap at just over a second.

09:32 Vettel is now called in for his final stop with seven laps left.

09:34 Rosberg now makes his last pitstop.

09:34 Alonso has closed to within 3.8s of Hulkenberg for fourth with six laps left.

09:35 Hamilton will now be coming in. Mercedes had hung on as long as it could for this stop in case rain developed.

09:36 No problems in that stop for Hamilton. He's clear to tick off a few more laps before winning his first Malaysian GP.

09:36 Alonso is within DRS range of Hulkenberg for fourth now.

09:36 Raikkonen is taking the fight for 11th right to Grosjean.

09:36 Hulkenberg faces a very tough task to fend the Ferrari off with five laps still to go.

09:36 Ricciardo, meanwhile, looks to be joining the list of retirees.

09:37 EDD STRAW: "No great surprise to see Red Bull retiring Ricciardo. Gearboxes have to last for six consecutive race weekends, but if you don't finish a race you are allowed a new one for the next event. Ricciardo was excluded in Australia but did finish the race, so this was the second race of a six-race cycle for him. Allows him to run a new one in Bahrain."

09:37 Alonso is all over the back of Hulkenberg.

09:38 Alonso storms down the outside of Hulkenberg into the final hairpin but is resisted.

09:38 Now Alonso is on the DRS on the pits straight.

09:38 Bottas given the order to pass Massa by the Williams crew.

09:38 Hulkenberg hugs the inside into Turn 1, fends Alonso off, but runs wide.

09:38 Alonso slips through, but Hulkenberg can dive straight to the inside of Turn 2...

09:39 Out of the corner though the Ferrari takes it. Alonso up to fourth after a stunning fight.

09:39 Vettel is told by Red Bull that more fuel is needed.

09:39 Hamilton sets a new fastest race lap of 1m43.066s.

09:40 No need for Hamilton to push with 13.4s gap back to Rosberg but he's keen to show his pace.

09:40 Massa told again to let Bottas through.

09:41 The Brazilian seems less than keen to oblige. He's holding on to seventh position.

09:41 EDD STRAW: "Makes sense for Williams to order Massa to let Bottas through. He had ample opportunity to pass Button this race and Bottas was ordered to stay behind, now Bottas gets to have a chance to attack the McLaren.

"It's easy to complain, but Massa had team orders on his side earlier in the race and asked the team to call off Bottas's attack, so you he can't have it both ways."

09:41 Hamilton stays on that fast pace with a lap just one tenth slower. He leads by 14.7s with two laps left.

09:42 Vettel has backed off and still has a 10.4s cushion over Alonso, who has dropped Hulkenberg.

09:42 Grosjean, meanwhile, is still holding off Raikkonen for 11th.

09:42 "OK Lewis, you're the fastest man on track, you can back your pace off a little bit," says Mercedes. Hamilton obliges and is a second slower now.

09:43 With Massa not moving over, it's become a fight between the two Williams drivers.

09:43 Hamilton heads on to his final lap of the race.

09:43 Having the Williams drivers battling each other is great news for Button, who looks clear to take sixth place.

09:44 Hamilton takes Malaysian GP victory

09:45 Rosberg backs right off and comes through 17.3s behind in second in a Mercedes one-two.

09:45 Vettel finishes third, Alonso fourth.

09:45 Hulkenberg clinches fifth place.

09:46 Button will get sixth as Williams pair Massa and Bottas are seventh and eighth after that team orders controversy.

09:46 Race result:

1 Hamilton
2 Rosberg
3 Vettel
4 Alonso
5 Hulkenberg
6 Button
7 Massa
8 Bottas
9 Magnussen
10 Kvyat
11 Grosjean
12 Raikkonen
13 Kobayashi
14 Ericsson
15 Chilton

09:47 Retirements: Ricciardo, Gutierrez, Sutil, Vergne, Bianchi, Maldonado, Perez.

09:47 AUTOSPORT Live will stay running for a good few hours yet to bring you all the news and reaction from the paddock.

09:48 Hamilton climbs out of his Mercedes and gives it a firm pat on the cockpit.

09:49 Rosberg doesn't look too displeased as he shares dozens of high-fives with a jubilant Mercedes crew in parc ferme.

09:49 Vettel to his team: "Thanks boys. Well executed race. We are not yet there where we want to be. But we'll get there."

09:50 "You finished P8, great job. We know there were more places there. We'll have a chat afterwards," is the message from Williams to Bottas.

09:50 Bottas doesn't sound enraged, but adds "I'm 100 per cent sure I could have got the McLaren."

09:51 A smiling Vettel chats with Rosberg about their first-lap battle as they wait for the podium.

09:52 The top three head onto the podium. Massive beaming grin for Hamilton.

09:53 Hamilton attends to his hair as the British national anthem rings out.

09:54 The Malaysian prime minister presents Hamilton with his trophy.

09:57 Champagne fight complete, and actor Benedict Cumberbatch will interview the drivers.

09:57 Hamilton looks genuinely thrilled to be greeted by the Sherlock Holmes actor.

10:01 Rosberg tries to ramp up some local passion for Petronas, telling the Malaysian crowd they have a fuel company that is taking charge of F1.

10:02 Rosberg's plea does get quite a decent cheer, but it's fair to say the home fans would've been more thrilled if Alex Yoong or Fairuz Fauzy's careers had taken them to the F1 podium.

10:03 Vettel tells 'Sherlock' all about his first-lap dice with both Rosberg and Ricciardo.

"The start was not very good, I was quite surprised when I saw Nico on my right. I thought I had a had a good start and thought about attacking Lewis into first corner, but with Nico it was quite tight and Daniel was coming as well, so I lost a place."

10:05 Massa is telling TV crews that he "did the right thing" in ignoring Williams's calls for him to let Bottas through.

AUTOSPORT's reporters will be talking to both Williams drivers and the team shortly.

10:08 The radio calls from Williams to Massa were relentless for several laps in the closing stages - far more than were broadcast on the main TV feed.

10:09 Bianchi is arguing that his penalty for colliding with Maldonado was unjust as he already had a puncture from earlier contact.

10:14 Massa is defending his decision to ignore Williams's request to hand seventh to Bottas:

"I think I did the best I could with my race. I was fighting to the end and my target was to score as many points for the team and me. We're only in the second race."

10:16 Bottas was arguing over the radio that he had the pace to pass both Massa and sixth-placed Button. Massa insists that wasn't the case:

"Valtteri couldn't pass me so it was going to be difficult to pass Jenson as well. I don't think that would've changed.

"I was there, I was fighting. It wasn't like we were on two completely different strategies. He stopped just after me and his tyres were slightly better but not enough to pass me and not enough to pass Jenson as well."

10:17 Asked if it was fair to ignore the team, Massa replies: "Is it fair to do the best we can? We have two championships. I respect my job. We need to respect each other."

10:18 Bottas is trying to play the row down when he takes his turn to meet reporters.

"I don't really want to comment. We should speak in the team about what messages they gave Felipe."

But he did think he could pass Button...

"I think there was a really good chance for me to get Jenson. I was approaching really quickly."

10:19 Last word from Massa...

"I don't think things will be different or strange when I get to the garage. I'm doing the best I can to help the team and they need to do the same as well."

10:20 Will things be strange at Williams...? It's one of the places AUTOSPORT's reporters will be in the next few hours, so we'll let you know...

Lewis Hamilton10:32 It may have looked like a very comfortable win for Lewis Hamilton, but he was keen to point out that the race wasn't exactly easy.

"I don't think any race is ever easy. Looking after the car, looking after fuel, not making any mistakes, it was a massive challenge in that sense. I would hear Nico stepped up the speed, [then] reacting without damaging the tyres, so it was a great challenge but one I was able to do well.

"The car was spectacular this weekend. I was happy – great performance from the team."

10:33 Ricciardo's race was going very well in fourth place until that disastrous final pitstop. Here's how it unfolded from his seat:

"I guess everyone thought the tyres were on. As soon as I left I could feel something wasn't right and the left front was loose.

"I stopped and was pushed back, and a lap later I had a broken front wing and a punture. I don't know how that happened.

Two unfortunate events spoiled the race."

10:35 As usual, racing drivers from elsewhere in the motorsport world are quick to comment on what's going on in F1. Force India-affiliated GP2 man Daniel Abt feels Massa's pain:

"'Felipe your team-mate is faster than you'.. Massa must go crazy after hearing that again"

10:36 Vettel is a happy man after having finishing in third, but he admits Red Bull will have to work hard to catch Mercedes.

"We are there and that is the most important. It is better than what we expected during the winter. We know there is a lot we can do better, it doesn't feel great when you are racing.

"We need to make big steps because they are quite far ahead, but I am quite happy with the steps we are currently making. At some stage during testing we didn't expect to finish the first couple of races.

"We know there is still a lot of to do. Mercedes did a better job, they are quicker than us, we know there are a lot of things we have to do better. Still a bloody good job today."

10:38 Championship leader Nico Rosberg is keeping the lid well and truly on his title chances at this early stage, wheeling out his version of the standard 'taking it one game at a time' footballer quote, and pointing out that Red Bull is not that far away.

"I am taking it race-by-race, keeping on it.

"The best example is Red Bull; the last day of testing was four/three weeks ago and they were absolutely nowhere, and [Vettel] was right on the back of me, pushing me. We need to keep on it to keep our advantage."

10:44 Today's win is also Hamilton's 100th points finish. He laughs that stats of that nature "make him feel old"... Well, Lewis, you are now 10th equal with Nelson Piquet on the chart of most points finishes in F1 history.

But he's still 121 points finishes behind record-holder Michael Schumacher (a man still at the forefront of F1's thoughts). And when marvelling at that Schumacher stat, bear in mind that for the first decade of his F1 career, you had to get into the top six to score.

Of the drivers in the top-10 all-time points finishes list, only Alain Prost (fifth, 128 points finishes) and Piquet raced solely in the 'top six score' era.

10:48 As for feeling old, Hamilton is 29 (and two months and 23 days). F1's oldest ever points-scorer Philippe Etancelin was 53 years, eight months and six days old when he took fifth at Monza in 1950.

Etancelin, whose career was mostly in the pre-war, pre-world championship days, certainly didn't get near 100 points finishes. In fact he only had 1.5. He took fifth at Reims in 1950 too, but that day he shared his Talbot with Eugene Chaboud.

Romain Grosjean10:48 EDD STRAW has just had a quick chat to Lotus's Alan Permane.

He revealed that Grosjean picked up a bit of diffuser damage late on that cost up to a second per lap and a shot at attacking Kvyat for 10th.

10:52 It's the BTCC season-opener at Brands Hatch this weekend too. Champion Andrew Jordan is on pole ahead of multiple champion Jason Plato.

But a lot of eyes are on our returnee champions Alain Menu and Fabrizio Giovanardi, who start eighth and 18th respectively.

Menu reckons he's a lot faster than that, while Gio has been more pessimistic. But his Motorbase team told KEVIN TURNER earlier today that a problem has been found with his Ford, so expect the Italian to be moving forward when race one gets underway in just a few seconds.

10:55 News just coming through that Ricciardo has a 10-place grid penalty for the Bahrain Grand Prix for Red Bull's unsafe pit release.

10:59 Mercedes-powered cars occupied a whopping seven of the Top 10 positions today. The only non-Mercs were Vettel, Alonso and Kvyat.

Speaking of Mercedes, Hamilton and Rosberg were treated to a big cheer when they arrived into the works team's hospitality.

Kevin Magnussen11:17 Kevin Magnussen is very unimpressed with himself today after that clash with Kimi Raikkonen, which has earned him two points on his licence as well as the five-second penalty he took in the race.

As the picture shows, it also left him with a mangled front wing and a lot of work to do to fend anyone off till his first pitstop.

Here's the full story:

Magnussen disappointed with himself

11:18 Given the start of the season that Lotus has experienced, Romain Grosjean is taking plenty of positives out of making it to the end of the race in Malaysia.

“Eleventh place is good for all the guys at Enstone and at the track, and it's good for me too.

"Finishing the race was our first objective and then we wanted to see where we were with our car. It's not perfect yet but it's good to be where we are at this stage.

"I had a big loss of downforce around eight laps to the end especially in the rear of the car which made things difficult, especially when I had to defend. Without that issue, I’m sure we could have finished higher.

"It's good to be back and close to the points so it's a positive for all of us. It was a good battle at the end. I kept remembering our past battles to make sure Kimi couldn't go through!"

11:21 Here's the story on Ricciardo's penalty:

Daniel Ricciardo gets Bahrain grid penalty

Also worth noting Red Bull has also been summoned to explain why a mechanic was not wearing head protection during a pitstop.

11:21 At Brands Hatch, champion Andrew Jordan has just fended off Jason Plato to win the BTCC opener, while Matt Neal got the Honda estate straight on the podium in third. Full AUTOSPORT report coming up shortly.

Pastor Maldonado11:22 In more penalty-related news, Bianchi has been awarded two penalty points for his clash with Maldonado, pictured rejoining after his spin.

That means Bottas, Magnussen and Bianchi have two points each.

11:31 Max Chilton has tweeted his thoughts on chasing down Marcus Ericsson for 14th at the end... and weight loss in the Sepang heat:

"Tough day in the office, closed the gap at the end to cross the line 0.1 behind from 10 behind. -3kgs in body weight."

11:32 Over in Greece, Ireland's Craig Breen is two stages away from the biggest win of his career so far, with a maiden European Rally Championship victory for him and the Peugeot 208 T16 - on its debut! - now within sight on the Acropolis Rally.

Want to see Breen and the 208 in action? AUTOSPORT has ERC video highlights on its rallying page.

11:35 He got disqualified a fortnight ago in Australia after finishing second, and today his fourth place was lost to a botched pitstop, front wing breakage and puncture, and then he got a 10-place grid penalty too...

BUT Daniel Ricciardo is at least pleased he's proving himself at the front of the field, having battled wheel to wheel with champion team-mate Vettel today.

"A lot of people don't expect it because I'm always the happy guy and smiling but I'm here to race and I love racing up at the front.

"It's been a privilege but a lot of fun in the last couple of rounds. It's addictive, you'll see me up there plenty of times this year."

11:42 Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne explains his terrible start and the subsequent crash that ruined his race on lap one:

"I think I had a great start today but very soon I felt some problems with the car. I lost power in the car and I just saw everybody overtaking me.

"Then I found myself in a sandwich between a Caterham and Bianchi and maybe I was a bit too ambitious to think I could try and pass the two cars.

"It was just not possible and this resulted in the collision, which damaged my front wing."

11:43 EDD STRAW: "Just spoke to Massa. He claims the team has discussed the team orders issue and there are no problems.

"But he was being careful not to say too much.

"Clear that he was not happy with the the order to let Bottas past and didn't see why there would be any team advantage."

11:45 To recap for anyone just joining us, Massa was asked repeatedly to let Bottas past him for seventh place in the closing laps in Malaysia today as Williams believed Bottas could attack Button for sixth place.

Massa disagreed...

Carlos Reutemann11:49 Williams drivers totally ignoring team orders calls isn't a new experience for the squad. It most famously happened back in 1981, when Carlos Reutemann's contract made him number two to reigning champion team-mate Alan Jones.

Reutemann was asked to cede the lead of the Brazilian Grand Prix to Jones once the Australian was within a given distance, but he appeared not to see the pitboard instruction... Cue a complete breakdown in already frosty team-mate relations.

Williams's refusal to make Nigel Mansell the number two driver irked Nelson Piquet for pretty much all of 1986, and in the 21st century Juan Pablo Montoya's suspicions of favouritism towards Ralf Schumacher during the 2003 French GP ultimately triggered his eventual departure for McLaren.

11:55 BEN ANDERSON is just back from Ferrari, where he's been hearing from a pretty unhappy Alonso and Raikkonen. Full stories of their races coming up shortly...

11:55 Sauber has explained the problems suffered by its drivers during the race.

Adrian Sutil lost electric power supply and switched off completely, while Esteban Gutierrez was unable to engage first gear after his first pitstop.

The team says it will investigate the problems, admitting its "performance in the race wasn't where we expected it to be, so we have some homework to do."

11:57 Coming up on AUTOSPORT Live later will be Race Centre Live coverage from Brands Hatch BTCC, St Petersburg IndyCar and... well, hopefully Martinsville NASCAR.

But snowflakes have been landing on the speedway this morning, so let's see how the latter goes...

12:02 Jules Bianchi says his accident with Maldonado was the result of Vergne having crashed into him earlier:

"Unfortunately the situation with Maldonado was a consequence of what happened off the start, when Vergne hit me from behind and punctured my left rear tyre.

"Quite simply I could not avoid Maldonado; there was nothing I could do."

12:05 More news regarding Daniel Ricciardo's disastrous day; he's also been reprimanded because one of the Red Bull Racing crew wasn't wearing head protection. No change to the original penalty, though.

12:08 Full report and results from the Brands Hatch BTCC opener are here:

Brands Hatch BTCC race one: Jordan resists Plato

For F1 types wondering why 'man who beat Button in F3'/sometime BAR tester/Marussia driver guru Marc Hynes didn't start on his BTCC debut, his MG's power steering failed before the race began.

12:08 Meanwhile, Bottas has confirmed to EDD STRAW that he didn't start the race with all 100 kilograms of allowed fuel on board, as the team was confident of not having any consumption worries.

12:15 Pop across to our partner site FORIX (included in your AUTOSPORT subscription) for a full rundown of all the drivers' official quotes from their Malaysian GP weekend, plus an extraordinarily comprehensive array of race stats - including the whole field's full race laptimes and gap charts.

12:20 Pirelli is pleased with the performance of its tyres in the Malaysian heat, even though the expected two-stop strategies became three for most drivers:

Paul Hembery: "In spite of this [the heat] the tyres showed an overall balance of performance that allowed a close battle for the lead.

"There was no blistering or graining, and while drivers had to manage thermal degradation, a three-stop race is in line with the requirements the sport has asked Pirelli to deliver."

12:21 Red Bull had another troubled race on Ricciardo's site of the garage. But one thing to note about his list of problems - neither the pitstop issue nor the wing failure had anything to do with the troubled Renault engine.

In fact Renault's Thierry Salvi is instead celebrating things that did work in the heat:

"Everything worked as expected on the power unit and we managed the fuel and energy well.

"One of the main concerns in the heat here is the charged air temperature to the turbo, but we didn't have any issues today."

12:30 Delight at Caterham after moving into 10th place in the constructors' championship thanks to Kamui Kobayashi's 13th position. The Japanese is sure the result is good for team morale.

"Thirteen place puts us back in 10th in the championship and gives everyone the sort of boost we needed. There's still a huge amount of work to do and a lot of today was new for me and we obviously have to keep putting more performance on the car so we can really fight one or two of the teams ahead.

"That looks like it's a realistic target at this stage, but for now, focusing on today, finally we've had a good day and we should be happy about that."

12:37 Fifth place for Nico Hulkenberg, beating the McLarens and Williams, after a race-long battle with Alonso's Ferrari that he couldn't quite win.

How does the Force India man rate that one among his giantkilling drives?

"I'm very happy, but it's not right up there. I think I've had other drives which were a bit more special with more pressure from behind.

"Today was a race by myself because I was on a different strategy to most of the other people. I was driving for myself.

"Great to pull off the two-stop strategy and generally a big success to come away with 10 points."

12:48 Sergio Perez didn't turn a racing lap today, and he's confirmed that it was a gearbox problem that stopped him making the start.

"I'm disappointed not to have a chance to race today. We are still investigating the cause of the problem but the car kept going into neutral when I was downshifting on the way to the grid. I made it back to the garage but we could not find a solution.

"I need to focus on the positives because we learned a lot from the weekend so I hope we can come back stronger in Bahrain. It’s been a frustrating weekend for me but at least we are racing again in seven days and can look forward to putting the disappointment behind us."

13:11 The FIA has issued the full transcript from today's post-race press conference, so here are Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel's champagne-drenched thoughts in full:

Malaysian GP Sunday press conference

13:16 Still plenty going on elsewhere in motorsport today - Craig Breen and the Peugeot 208 T16 are just one stage away from maiden ERC wins on the Acropolis now (though second-placed Bryan Bouffier hasn't given up on closing the 16s gap) and another Andrew Jordan versus Jason Plato BTCC battle will commence at Brands Hatch in just a few minutes.

13:35 Here's more from Fernando Alonso on why his Malaysian GP was a "nightmare" despite ending up fourth:

Alonso labels his race a nightmare

13:35 And here's Red Bull team boss Christian Horner describing F1 rules as "harsh" as Daniel Ricciardo faces a Bahrain grid penalty for today's pit mistake:

Red Bull: Ricciardo grid penalty is harsh

13:39 That's it from AUTOSPORT Live's Malaysian GP coverage this weekend.

Coming up on Race Centre Live later will be coverage of the final race from the Brands Hatch BTCC weekend, plus the Indy Lights and IndyCar season-openers in St Petersburg and the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville.

Keep an eye on AUTOSPORT for plenty more Malaysian GP reaction and insight over the coming days, including EDD STRAW's race analysis and driver ratings on Monday, and GARY ANDERSON's verdict on Tuesday.

You've only got a few days to wait until the F1 action kicks off again, with the first night-time Bahrain GP next weekend.

AUTOSPORT GP Live will resume from Bahrain at 11.30am UK time on Friday April 4. See you then.

Race length: 56 laps
Mainly sunny High Temp: 30°C / 86°F
Track: Dry
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Friday 28 Mar Start GMT
 Friday - Practice 01:30
Saturday 29 Mar
 Saturday - Qualifying 04:30
Sunday 30 Mar
 Sunday - Malaysian Grand Prix 06:30