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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2009 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX - RACE DAY AT SEPANG
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Race day at Sepang
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
07:30 Hello everyone and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live for this the second round of what is already proving to be a fascinating Formula 1 season.

Following on from the amazing start to the season one week ago in Australia, the teams have switched continents and are ready to do battle once more in the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.

07:35 AUTOSPORT forum members are invited to join the fun throughout the race, offering thoughts and opinions as the event unfolds.

• Can Jenson Button make it two wins out of two and take a commanding lead in the title race?
• Toyota start the race from second and third on the grid. Can they take the fight to Brawn GP this afternoon?
• What of the rest of the field? Will McLaren or Ferrari score any points today?

Tell everyone 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.

07:40 This morning the skies were bright with no hint of what would follow a short while later. Earlier this afternoon, a heavy downpour soaked the circuit, prompting fears of a wet race.

Since then, the track has dried out very well in the fierce heat, but further showers are likely in the next few hours.

The maximum temperature today will reach 31 degrees Celsius, but with plenty of cloud cover the track temperatures will be pegged back somewhat compared with the earlier track sessions.

Jenson Button07:45 Final practice and qualifying produced a tight grid with many subsequent talking points on Saturday.

Nico Rosberg topped the early practice session for Williams, ahead of Mark Webber - showing well in the Red Bull RB5. Felipe Massa and then the two Toyotas of Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock were next in the final classification. It was one of the closest ever practice sessions, with all 20 drivers covered by just 1.4 seconds.

Rosberg fastest again in final practice

The qualifying session turned out to be thrilling, with a few shocks along the way.

Felipe Massa and Ferrari committed a cardinal sin, by allowing themselves to believe they would be safe from elimination in Q1. With such a tight field, the simple truth is that no-one is safe from being dropped these days. Massa was forced out as other drivers went faster on their final lap in the first period.

The McLarens fell at the next hurdle. The MP4-24 is undoubtedly showing some signs of improvement, but as yet does not have the pace to break into the top ten. Up front, Jenson Button once again stole the show. He starts today's race from his second straight pole position in the Brawn, with the Toyotas of Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock surrounding him at the start.

Button grabs second consecutive pole

07:50 BMW Sauber lodged a protest after qualifying on Saturday against the controversial double-decker diffuser designs used by three rival teams.

The protest against the Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams cars, which all qualified strongly on Saturday, has been rejected - meaning the diffuser saga will be decided at the FIA International Court of Appeal hearing on April 14.

Stewards reject BMW Sauber's protest

07:55 Jenson Button will line up from pole position with a 660kg Brawn GP Mercedes, according to the list of car weights released by the FIA. The top ten drivers seem to have similar plans for the first stint of the race, with weights only differing by a few kilos.

Sebastian Vettel did have a lighter Red Bull to take third quickest time in Q3, but his ten-place penalty for that collision with Kubica in Australia means he will start deep in the pack on a light fuel load.

Nick Heidfeld's BMW, the pair of McLarens and Felipe Massa's Ferrari all tip the scales at around 690kg and are clearly planning a long first stint as they battle to move out of the second half of the grid.

Post-qualifying car weights - Malaysia

08:00 Earlier today, the spectators were treated to a very wet GP2 Asia race, eventually won by Vitaly Petrov.

Next on track was the Formula BMW Pacific race for ten laps around the 5.543 km circuit, which was by that point almost dry again after that earlier shower.

Most recently, the Formula 1 drivers' parade took place, with the fans getting their first chance today to cheer on their heroes.

Wet tyres08:05 Bridgestone is providing four different dry-weather rubber compounds during the year and is bringing a pair of tyre options to each race.

For Malaysia, the hard and soft compounds are available to the teams, with the latter marked by a green band on the sidewall.

Practice has shown the soft tyre to be particularly suited to this track, and it has been delivering both a fast initial lap from new and good consistency over a run of laps.

This morning's shower may, however, have upset that trend with the majority of the racing rubber having been washed from the asphalt surface.

Should rain intervene in the race, the teams have an ample supply of intermediate and full wet tyres on hand. None of the running so far this weekend has been rain affected, despite the showers hovering just beyond the track.

08:10 Weather conditions have brightened slightly in the last 30 minutes, but further showers remain a high possibility before the end of the race.

The Malaysian rainfall radar currently paints a gloomy picture, with showers advancing westwards, towards Sepang from the east.

If the rain stays away from the circuit, the early laps of the race will still provide action, as the drivers battle the handling of their cars on a green, slippery track.

08:15 The all-new KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) continues to be a talking point here in Malaysia, with the long straights meaning the potential of the technology to improve car performance can be fully demonstrated.

So far, only four teams have decided to run their KERS during the grand prix. They are:

Scuderia Ferrari
Felipe Massa
Kimi Raikkonen

McLaren Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton
Heikki Kovalainen

BMW Sauber
Nick Heidfeld

Renault F1
Fernando Alonso
Nelson Piquet

Once again, only one BMW will run the KERS system in today's grand prix, with Robert Kubica forced to run without the device due to his weight.

08:20 The pitlane will be open in ten minutes for the cars to make their way around to the grid.

The drivers will be interested to find out how much grip they have, especially in the slow-speed sections of the track.

08:25 A cultural display of dancing on the grid has been entertaining the crowd in the massive main grandstand in the build up to the start.

The local performers have now cleared off the grid, with the mechanics now wheeling out their trolleys of equipment. Today they have to be ready for any sudden downpours, as rain continues to be a significant threat.

08:30 The pits are now open for the cars to make a reconnaissance lap to the grid.

08:30 Timo Glock is ready in his Toyota, waiting for the signal by his team to leave the garage.

08:31 Nick Heidfeld comes out of the pits, and is making his way round to the grid on soft tyres.

08:31 Lewis Hamilton pulls out of the McLaren garage with the softer tyre on his car.

08:32 Nico Rosberg also has the soft tyre bolted onto his Williams.

08:34 Jenson Button is on his reconnaissance lap towards the grid. He is another to go round on the softer tyre, as Jarno Trulli joins the racetrack some way behind him.

08:35 The softer tyre is being used for most of the reconnaissance laps. This gives the drivers a breif opportunity to check the performance of the rubber following the rain since qualifying that will have changed the grip levels significantly.

08:36 The track temperature is 38 Celsius, in a 30 degree ambient. The current hazy sunshine and patchy cloud cover is holding back the asphalt temperature from reaching the peaks of earlier in the weekend.

08:36 The drivers are beginning to arrive on the dummy grid ahead of today's race. Some will slow down and then immediately light up the tyres to ascertain grip level. Some simply roll slowly towards the grid. The marshals will then take over in most cases, and push the car into its grid slot.

08:37 Sebastien Buemi makes his way round the track towards the grid with the softer tyre on his Toro Rosso STR 5. The Swiss driver is starting from 20th position this afternoon.

08:39 Red Bull designer Adrian Newey is taking a walk down the grid, and appears to be very interested in the shape of the Toyota TF109, as he passes Timo Glock.

08:40 Jenson Button's Brawn GP team think the expected rain will arrive at 5pm local time - just as the race starts.

08:42 Conditions have become fully overcast again in the last few minutes.

08:44 Felipe Massa, starting fro 16th place today, is standing by the guardrail with a damp towel round his neck to keep cool, as he is involved in deep conversation with his race engineer Rob Smedley.

08:45 The pits are now closed. All 20 cars are on the dummy grid.

08:46 The spectators rise to their feet as the Malaysian national anthem rings out over the Sepang circuit.

08:46 Bernie Ecclestone is touring the grid with a VIP party that includes the Malaysian Prime Minister.

08:48 There is a lot of tension on the grid as the teams prepare to react to any sudden changes in the weather.

08:50 The Brawn team have made a late change of front nose on the pole sitting car of Jenson Button.

08:52 The drivers are getting in to their cars with eight minutes to go before the formation lap.

08:52 On the rain radar front, a line of showers is still evident and continuing to approach the circuit.

The teams will be monitoring the Formula 1 weather pages very closely at this time, as they consider the various weather possibilities.

Right now, the sun is moving between the clouds and still showing through from time to time. But in the distance, we can see dark clouds moving closer to the track.

08:55 There are now five minutes remaining until the formation lap begins in Malaysia.

08:58 The drivers are ready to race. Jarno Trulli closes his eyes and focuses on the job he has to do this afternoon from second on the grid.

08:59 The BBC report that Button's front wing had to be changed due to problems with the new-for-2009 adjustable front wing system.

08:59 The engines begin to fire with a minute before the formation lap.

08:59 The softer tyres are the choice of the field for the start.

09:00 The formation lap is underway at a hot and sultry Sepang F1 Circuit. All 20 drivers leave the grid without problem.

09:01 The field are initially led away at a leisurely pace, before picking up speed after the first complex of corners.

09:01 Robert Kubica worryingly reports very strange noises from his BMW engine.

09:02 Jenson Button leads the field round the back of the circuit, and onto the Penang straight as they begin the turn for home.

09:03 Button rounds Turn 15 and checks the grip level on his way to the grid. He slots the Brawn comfortably into place on the pole.

09:03 The field begin to form up behind the Briton.

We await the start ...

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

Lap 1: Jarno Trulli and Jenson Button are neck and neck off the line, but it is the Williams of Nico Rosberg who rockets past them all into Turn 1.

Lap 1: Through Turn 4 it is Rosberg from Trulli, Alonso, Button and Raikkonen.

Lap 1: A sensational start with major changes from the grid order.

Lap 1: Robert Kubica made a very slow start and trails the field in 20th. Heikki Kovalainen has spun off and is out of the race.

Lap 2: Jenson Button sends a move up the inside of Turn 13 to take third back from Fernando Alonso.

Lap 2: In to lap two it is Rosberg from Trulli, Button, Alonso, Barrichello, Raikkonen, Webber and Glock.

Lap 2: A disgruntled Kovalainen stalks away from his McLaren Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton has made a good start and is up to 10th place in the early stages.

Lap 3: Fernando Alonso made a sensational start from way down the grid, and he now runs fourth with a significant fuel load.

Rubens Barrichello is behind the Renault and is desperate to overtake with his lighter car.

Lap 3: Nico Rosberg in the Williams is the leader after an amazing start to the Malaysian Grand Prix. He is a 1.2 seconds ahead of Trulli going in to the third lap.

Lap 4: Replays show that the second half of the field did a brilliant job to avoid Kubica's slow-starting BMW.

Sebastien Buemi has come into the pits from 18th to change the nosecone on the Toro Rosso.

Lap 4: Robert Kubica has now retired from the race. The Pole was reporting strange noises from the engine before the race started.

Lap 4: Alonso's heavy Renault now has a train of cars behind him ... Rubens Barrichello sends a move into Turn 14 but he can't slow the Brawn enough.

Rubens continues his attack and takes fourth from Alonso in to Turn 1.

Lap 5: Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber and Timo Glock are now tailing Alonso's Renault.

Lap 5: Behind the frontrunners, Nick Heidfeld runs in ninth place with Lewis Hamilton right behind him. Sebastian Vettel is right there too in 11th.

Felipe Massa and Nelson Piquet have made good starts and they are 12th and 13th.

Lap 6: Nico Rosberg leads by almost two seconds from Jarno Trulli, with Jenson Button closing in on the lead pair.

Lap 6: Sebastian Vettel pulls a great move on Lewis Hamilton for tenth place. Vettel passed up the inside at Turn 10 and is homing in on Nick Heidfeld.

Lap 7: The weather continues to threaten with dark clouds moving ever closer to the circuit.

Lap 7: Vettel is right on the gearbox of Heidfeld's BMW now and he tries a move on his fellow-German, but as yet no change. They run in ninth and tenth.

Lap 7: Kimi Raikkonen continues to tail Alonso's Renault but is unable to get by the Spaniard for the moment.

Lap 8: Jenson Button is closing on Trulli's Toyota in a battle for second. The pair have a similar fuel load for this first stint.

Lap 8: Button is told on the radio that heavy rain is expected.

Lap 8: Nick Heidfeld in ninth is losing a lot of ground to Timo Glock. Vettel is on the tail of Heidfeld, and Hamilton is less than a second behind Vettel. Felipe Massa in 12th is closing down that trio, with Piquet, Nakajima, Bourdais, Sutil and Fisichella behind him.

Lap 9: Nico Rosberg continues to lead in the Williams with his advantage now 2.8 seconds over Trulli's Toyota.

Lap 9: Rubens Barrichello sets the fastest lap as he continues in fourth and begins to close on team-mate Button.

Lap 10: Jarno Trulli is the next man to take the fastest lap, but he is only a fraction quicker than leader Rosberg.

Lap 10: Nick Heidfeld runs wide at Turn four and Sebastian Vettel says 'thank you', moving up easily into 10th place as Heidfeld recovered.

Lewis Hamilton was also able to take advantage of Heidfeld's mistake, and he is up to tenth, with Heidfeld now 11th.

Lap 11: The Formula 1 weather radar shows the continuing advance of the rain. Most teams are now expecting rain in the next few minutes.

Lap 11: Nico Rosberg sets the fastest lap at 1:37.660 as he continues to lead for Williams ahead of his first stop.

Lap 12: Sebastian Vettel - now clear of Heidfeld in ninth - has easily caught the train of cars that is being led by Fernando Alonso.

Lap 12: Fernando Alonso loses the back end of his Renault in to Turn 4 and that is all Kimi Raikkonen needs to slip by the Spaniard for fifth.

Lap 12: The timing of this rain is going to be critical, with the leading cars needing to pit shortly for fuel.

Lap 13: Down the field, Nelson Piquet is holding up a train of cars in a squabble over 13th position. Nakajima, Bourdais, Sutil and Fisichella are all close to the Brazilian.

Lap 13: Mark Webber dives past Alonso in to Turn 13 ... Alonso takes it back on the straight but Webber moves again into the final corner to take it back...

Lap 14: The scrap continues in to Turn 1 and Alonso runs wide, allowing Webber through.

Sensational racing in Malaysia.

Lap 14: Timo Glock is the next man to line up for a move on Alonso's Renault.

Lap 14: Lewis Hamilton in tenth has not been able to go on with Vettel and catch the train of cars up ahead. Lewis is now three seconds behind that group.

Lap 14: Having cruised up to the back of Glock, ninth placed Sebastian Vettel comes into the pits for his first stop.

Lap 15: Nico Rosberg continues to lead from Trulli and Button but all three will need to pit in the next couple of laps.

Lap 15: Vettel takes on soft tyres in a 10.7 second pitstop. He rejoins in 17th and last of the remaining runners in the race.

Lap 16: Lewis Hamilton is now promoted to ninth, following that stop by Vettel. Heidfeld is tenth, Massa 11th, Piquet 12th and Nakajima in 13th place.

Lap 16: Jenson Button sets the fastest lap a 1:37.555. The pole sitter does have slightly more fuel onboard than the two in front.

Lap 16: Nico Rosberg pits from the lead.

Lap 16: Rosberg takes the softer tyres and resumes in fourth.

Lap 17: As we mentioned before the start of the race, many of those in the second half of the field have started with heavy fuel loads. This will give them much more flexibility if the rain does hit the circuit, and they can make their decisions accordingly, rather than need to pit now.

Lap 17: The skies continue to darken as rain moves in on the circuit.

Jarno Trulli now leads, with Jenson Button now tailing close behind the Toyota.

Lap 17: Timo Glock has pitted from eighth place in the Toyota. He rejoins well down the order. Adrian Sutil has also been in for his first stop of the day, and the German rejoins the race at the back of the field.

Lap 17: Mark Webber pits his Red Bull from sixth, taking the softer dry tyres.

Lap 18: Trulli pits from the lead, handing the advantage to Jenson Button.

Lap 18: Trulli also takes the softer dry tyres and resumes behind Rosberg in fourth.

Lap 19: Jenson Button is flying up front as he tries to take the advantage of running longer than Trulli and Rosberg.

Lap 19: Button continues for yet another lap as he sets a sensational 1:36.641 in clear air.

Lap 19: Felipe Massa's race engineer, Rob Smedley, tells his driver that a lot of people are coming into the pits and that they will benefit if it rains.

Down at Ferrari, they are already getting wet tyres out.

Lap 19: Kimi Raikkonen pits from fifth and takes full wet tyres in a huge gamble by Ferrari!

Lap 20: Those full wet tyres will soon be destroyed unless it rains immediately.

Lap 20: Button pits from the lead.

Lap 20: Giancarlo Fisichella pits from 14th and is followed in straight afterwards by his team-mate Adrian Sutil, as the skies get ever-darker over the circuit.

As yet, still no rainfall.

Lap 20: Brawn GP go for soft, dry tyres and Button resumes ... way ahead of Rosberg and Trulli.

Lap 20: There are some drops of rain around the circuit but nothing of significance just yet.

Lap 21: Rubens Barrichello pits from the lead. What tyres will he take?

Lap 21: Sebastien Bourdais pits from 11th place, but more importantly Kimi Raikkonen is dropping down the field like a stone on his full wet tyres.

The Finn is 15th and falling down the order. Bourdais also took on full wet tyres.

Lap 21: Barrichello takes dry, soft tyres and he slots back in fourth behind Button, Rosberg and Trulli.

Lap 21: We think Giancarlo Fisichella also took on full wets. His sector times are also horrendously slow and he is losing several seconds per sector.

Lap 22: Fernando Alonso remains fifth and has the advantage of several more laps of fuel in the Renault.

He will be very well placed if he can make a single stop for fuel and rain tyres.

Lap 22: Adrian Sutil is also very, very slow on the circuit as the frontrunners continue to lap reasonably quickly.

Lap 22: Jenson Button leads as rain begins to fall.

Lap 23: Alonso is off! He's thrown away that fuel advantage with an off in Turn 6.

Lap 23: Button is in for full wet tyres.

Lap 23: The pack follows him down the pit lane.

Lap 23: In come the field for wet tyres. It is a mad scramble in the pitlane.

Lap 23: The rain is still light and patchy at the moment.

Lap 23: Lewis Hamilton is up to sixth as he was able to make his first fuel stop at the same time as taking wets.

Lap 23: Flashes of lightning can be seen as the race continues.

Kimi Raikkonen tells his team on the radio that his wet tyres are completely destroyed. The Finn is currently 14th.

Lap 23: The Red Bull of Webber has way more grip than Hamilton and takes the place from the McLaren.

Lap 24: Lewis Hamilton runs in seventh and he sends a move up the inside of Mark Webber. Lewis is through and up to sixth place at Turn 1.

Lap 24: It is Button from Rosberg, Trulli, Barrichello, Heidfeld and Hamilton.

Lap 25: Webber doesn't give up and tracks the McLaren. He impressively tries to retake sixth from Hamilton. The pair are swapping places in a display of great racing.

Webber beautifully reclaims sixth ahead of Lewis.

Lap 26: Timo Glock is flying in the Toyota. The German is in eighth place on intermediate tyres, and is as much as seven seconds per lap faster than the leaders.

Lap 26: Button leads by an impressive 14.1 seconds from Rosberg's Williams.

Lap 26: Mark Webber is up to fifth as the Red Bull displays excellent pace in these tricky conditions.

Lap 27: Behind the top six, Hamilton is seventh ... but Glock steams through past Hamilton and then Heidfeld.

Glock is up to sixth place now and continuing to haul in the leaders. He is currently 30 seconds behind leader Jenson Button.

Lap 27: Jenson Button pulls out the lead to 18.1 seconds as he revels in these conditions.

Rosberg in second is only 2.2 seconds ahead of ... Rubens Barrichello as the Brawn GP driver takes third away from Trulli's Toyota.

Lap 27: Sebastian Vettel pits from 11th position in the Red Bull Renault. Bourdais pits from 15th place.

Lap 28: Barrichello also has great pace in the Brawn GP and he flies past Rosberg for second.

Lap 28: Lewis Hamilton pits from eighth place in the McLaren. He takes the intermediate tyres and rejoins the race further down the order.

Lap 28: Rosberg pits as Mark Webber steams up to third in the Red Bull. Timo Glock takes fourth away from his team-mate as he takes advantage of his intermediate rubber.

Lap 29: Rubens Barrichello makes a mistake and allows Webber and Glock through.

Lap 29: Barrichello and Trulli pit for intermediate rubber as Glock goes through to second by being out on the correct tyres.

Lap 29: The rain has eased in recent minutes and those on the full wet are struggling for pace.

Lap 29: Jenson Button pits from the lead to take Intermediates. Will he get out ahead of Glock?

Lap 30: Button is down and away but Glock is already through into the lead ... just as the rain falls heavily again!

Lap 30: Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima pit from 12th and 13th. They rejoin near the back of the field.

Kimi Raikkonen had found some good pace, but he now pits as well from 13th place for intermediates.

Lap 30: Button is just a couple of seconds behind Glock but he has far fresher tyres than the Toyota.

Lap 30: It's a battle for the lead. Button steams past the Toyota into Turn 14 ... as Glock takes the wide line in to the pits.

Lap 31: Felipe Massa had climbed as high as fifth in the Ferrari, but comes into the pits for the second time.

Lap 31: Glock takes full wet tyres as the rain begins to fall hard.

Lap 31: Lightning strikes the circuit as they all pit again for wet rubber.

Lap 31: Jenson Button continues to lead but surely will be forced to pit for full wets.

Lap 31: Extremely heavy rain is now falling.

Lap 32: Button pits from the lead for full wets.

Lap 32: Timo Glock is second on the road from Nick Heidfeld in the BMW.

Lap 32: The positions are changing massively as the rain falls very hard now at Sepang.

Giancarlo Fisichella has spun into the gravel at Turn 7. He is out of the race.

Lap 32: Conditions are deteriorating rapidly.

Lap 32: The safety car has been deployed.

Lap 32: The race falls under control of the big Mercedes as conditions become unsafe for racing speed.

Lap 32: Lewis Hamilton had climbed back up to seventh place in the McLaren when the safety car was deployed.

Sebastien Buemi and Sebastian Vettel fell victim to the heavy rainfall that hit the circuit. Both are out of the race.

Lap 32: The track is awash with this heavy downpour.

Lap 33: Jenson Button leads from Timo Glock.

Lap 33: The race has been suspended. The cars will return to the red flag line on the start/finish straight to await a restart.

10:03 Adrian Sutil is in the pits in the Force India. He was already running last in 15th position.

10:04 There will be very little time for a restart to be organised as it is so late in the day in Malaysia.

10:05 Replays show Sebastian Vettel's demise. He spun at Turn 7 and lost the engine.

Giancarlo Fisichella amazingly got out of the gravel trap at Turn 7, but then spun out for good later on the same lap at Turn 15.

10:06 This procedure is very similar to a new race start. However, rain continues to fall heavily and a restart appears to be unlikely.

10:06 The order at the red flag line is as follows.

Jenson Button is the leader of the race. Timo Glock is second, with Nick Heidfeld third. Jarno Trulli is fourth, Rubens Barrichello fifth, and Lewis Hamilton had made it into the top six.

10:08 Rain continues to fall at a massive rate.

10:09 The mechanics are doing their best to keep the cars dry and ready to resume.

A restart does look unlikely given the two-hour time limit.

10:10 Continuing the rundown, Nico Rosberg is seventh with Mark Webber eighth. Felipe Massa was beginning to climb slowly through the field again and is ninth.

Sebastien Bourdais was one of the first to come in for the full wet tyre when the heavy rain hit, and he is tenth in the classification. Piquet is 11th with Alonso 12th, Nakajima 13th, Raikkonen 14th.

Adrian Sutil was last of the remaining runners at the time of the race suspension in 15th place.

10:11 Mark Webber walks down the grid to have a chat with Lewis Hamilton. As the deluge continues the discussion will no doubt surround safety.

10:11 Half points will be awarded to the top eight if the race can not be restarted.

10:13 Mark Webber has now wandered down to have a word with Fernando Alonso, as they both look at the waves of water that are now filling the track.

Rubens Barrichello has changed his visor for a clear one, for maximum visibility.

10:13 The teams expect this severe rain to continue for another 30 minutes.

10:14 Mark Webber tells the BBC that he doesn't feel the race should resume.

10:16 Felipe Massa is standing under an umbrella close to his Ferrari. As he was slowly heading round to the red flag line when the race was originally suspended, he was extremely agitated, asking his race engineer to bring out a clear visor for him.

The conditions had to be seen to be believed as the drivers courageously coaxed their cars round to the start-finish straight, in some of the most severe conditions ever seen during a grand prix.

10:19 The mechanics are getting drenched down on the grid as they continue to service the cars in case of a restart.

10:19 Some of the drivers remain on the grid, awaiting further instructions.

A few - Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber among them - have gone back to their team garages or the pitwall to wait this shower out.

10:21 Timo Glock is sitting in his Toyota at the red flag line, his helmet off, wondering at the conditions he sees in front of him.

"The visibility is nothing. With the amount of water we have now it is a really dangerous circuit and we can have a serious accident, I think, if we restart, so fingers crossed we don't start again."
Fernando Alonso speaking to British broadcaster BBC

10:23 Kazuki Nakajima has stayed on the grid, and is standing close to his car as the heavy rain continues. He is drying his hair with a towel, as Brawn GP team boss Ross Brawn takes a walk down the grid.

10:25 The rainfall has eased in recent minutes but the circuit is still flooded.

10:28 When the red flag came out conditions were impossible.

Lewis Hamilton was actually the quickest driver on the circuit, taking just over three-and-a-half minutes to lap the 5.543 km Sepang circuit.

The top seven drivers were the only ones to lap the track in under five minutes.

Nick Heidfeld was coming through Turn 7, doing no more than 30 mph. As soon as he tried to apply the throttle the BMW just snapped round on him. The drivers had absolutely no chance to continue racing in such levels of rain as we saw a short time ago.

10:31 Lightning strikes again at the circuit, although the rain is certainly easing off from the torrential cloudburst earlier.

10:33 Jarno Trulli is told on his team radio that Mark Webber, a GPDA director, thinks conditions are now too dark for a restart.

10:33 The rain is now falling heavily again as discussions continue regarding whether the race should continue.

10:35 There is a possibility of the race resuming behind the safety car to complete the laps needed to award full points.

10:38 As yet, no signal has been given that the race will restart, as deliberations continue.

Sebastien Bourdais remains in his Toro Rosso on the grid, as he sits under an umbrella.

Ferrari have pushed Kimi Raikkonen's car off the grid, into the garage.

10:39 With a number of cars a lap down, preparations are being made to allow the cars to be on the same lap if there is a restart behind the safety car.

10:41 The rain has eased considerably in recent minutes.

10:42 The front three drivers - Jenson Button, Timo Glock and Nick Heidfeld - have been moved to the left hand side of the track, with all remaining runners moved to the right, behind them.

If the race does restart, the safety car will lead off, with those drivers from position four downwards moving past the safety car, so they are allowed to unlap themselves.

10:43 The track is still very wet and it certainly hasn't stopped raining completely.

10:44 The cover is being taken off Rubens Barrichello's fifth placed Brawn GP car. Rubens is moving towards his mount.

Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen is in the Ferrari garage in civilian clothing.

10:45 The Finn has decided that he isn't restarting this race under any conditions.

10:46 Down on the grid, there are frantic efforts to dry the seat on Hamilton's McLaren.

10:48 Ferrari are concerned about the KERS system on their car. Ferrari's spokesman Luca Colajani has told the BBC that they are still studying the data on Raikkonen's car.

10:49 The rain continues to ease off and Jarno Trulli is getting in to his Toyota.

10:52 Race director Charlie Whiting has called an end to the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Jenson Button takes his second win of the season for Brawn GP and extends his lead in the world championship.

Nick Heidfeld is second, equaling his best finish and Timo Glock has taken third place for Toyota.

10:54 Jenson Button celebrates his win as the crowd cheer from the main grandstand.

Button will take five points from this race to extend his championship lead.

10:54 Jenson Button and Timo Glock congratulate eachother on the track as they walk towards the pitlane.

10:55 The drenched mechanics begin to clear the grid of the cars.

10:56 While everyone is filing their way through the fence or walking towards the entrance of the pits to get back into pitlane, Rubens Barrichello cuts a lonely figure as he walks the other way, towards the end of the pits to get back to his team.

10:58 The podium finishers will be Button first, Heidfeld second and Glock third after the final countback of results.

10:59 Jarno Trulli is classified fourth from Rubens Barrichello, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg with the results declared at the end of lap 31.

10:59 Jenson Button steps out onto the podium as he celebrates victory in today's Malaysian Grand Prix.

God Save the Queen now plays for today's winners - Jenson Button and Brawn GP.

11:01 Jenson receives the trophy for victory. He is delighted and holds it aloft with both hands.

11:01 Andrew Shovlin, Button's race engineer, takes the constructors' trophy for Brawn GP.

11:01 Glock and Heidfeld get their awards after a chaotic grand prix.

11:03 The race report and classification is now available:

Button wins shortened Malaysian GP

11:04 There will be a lot of points to clear up after this race. Stick with AUTOSPORT for all the news, reaction and analysis from Sepang.

11:10 Jenson Button takes half points for victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix, after light rain for several laps became an intense thunderstorm, rendering meaningful racing impossible.

The action had been amazing up to that point, with many great battles for position throughout the field. Three trains of cars provided close racing in the dry, and the various tyre and fuel strategies provided even more fun when the heavier rain came down.

As we end our coverage for the event, discussion continues within the teams regarding the final finishing order. Stay with AUTOSPORT for all the post-race news and reaction to the race.

This was the Malaysian Grand Prix on AUTOSPORT Live. Thanks for being with us throughout the weekend. We will be back in two weeks for the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai.

  OVERVIEW MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX  
Race Length: 56 laps
  CURRENT WEATHER
Rain High Temp: 31°C / 88°F
Track: Very Wet
  INFOBOX
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  LIVE COVERAGE NAVIGATOR
Monday 30 Mar Start GMT
 Malaysian Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 03 Apr
 Friday Morning Practice 01:45
 Friday Afternoon Practice 05:45
Saturday 04 Apr
 Saturday Practice 05:45
 Qualifying 08:45
Sunday 05 Apr
 Race day at Sepang 07:30
  ABOUT
Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are autosport.com's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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