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Live Commentary: Malaysian Grand Prix - as it happened

Read how a truly enthralling Malaysian Grand Prix unravelled both during and after the race.

Formula 1 headed to Malaysia for the second race of the new season with Sebastian Vettel on pole as he was in Australia last week.

The German couldn't turn pole into victory in Melbourne but was able to do so at Sepang today.

That's only half the story though as the race was full of incident both tactically and mechanically.

Read how it all unfolded in our lap-by-lap updates below.

Morning all! We should be in for another fantastic race this afternoon as it's raining lightly in Sepang!

As mentioned above, reigning three-time world champion Vettel grabbed pole position yesterday in a topsy-turvy qualifying session. Rain began to fall towards the end of Q2 before Vettel made the right call in coming in for a new set of intermediates.

The German ended up posting the quickest time by almost a second ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who outqualified teammate Fernando Alonso for the fourth race in a row (dating back to the last two races of 2012).

Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton makes up the top four but it was a disappointing day for his teammate Nico Rosberg. The German had been quicker than Hamilton all afternoon but ended up sixth on the grid.

Rosberg was adjudged to have been blocked by last week's winner Raikkonen during qualifying and the Finn has been handed a three-place grid penalty and starts 10th.

Back to today and the cars have had an interesting first 'feeler' lap of the track. Many of the cars slid off the track at turn three and had to take a trip across the grass and gravel before getting back on the rubber. New Caterham driver Guido van der Garde tells Sky Sports F1 that this is because that part of the track is very wet. Williams man Pastor Maldonado adds that conditions are particularly difficult because half of the track is wet and half is dry.

Hopefully we won't have to start the race under the safety car as it could be an incredible first lap if the drivers are left to their own devices. The safety car is currently doing a circuit of the track to check out the conditions.

PREDICTION! With 10 minutes until we begin, it's time for my prediction for the race. I expect a Ferrari to cross the line first and you have to favour Alonso in these changeable conditions. Hamilton and Button have also been known to excel in the wet in the past.

We expect all the drivers to start on the intermediate compound of tyre but the teams will want to change to slick tyres as soon as possible once that water at turn three has been slurped up by the cars. Whoever is first to duck into the pits will indicate to the other teams how the dry tyres fare on the track.

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The Kuala Lumpur circuit has been a staple of the F1 calendar since 1999 and here are some stats on the track:

Venue: Sepang
Laps: 56
Circuit length: 5.543km
Race distance: 310.408km
Number of corners: 15 (5 left and 10 right)

It's quite a long run down to turn one so there is enough time for drivers to assess their chances of an early pass. The rest of the track weaves around before two long straights end the lap and offer the best chance to overtake.

TOP 10 REMINDER: 1 Vettel 2 Massa 3 Alonso 4 Hamilton 5 Webber 6 Rosberg 7 Button 8 Sutil 9 Perez 10 Raikkonen

FORMATION LAP: The rain is still falling as final preparations are made to the cars, off come the tyre covers and Vettel leads the other 21 cars for a gentle circuit before we begin. Will anyone spin off before the race even starts?

We know that Vettel is a supreme driver when leading from the front but he'll have a tough job holding on to that position with the two fast-starting Ferrari's right behind him. I expect at least one of the prancing red horses to get ahead of the German. Almost ready!

GO GO GO! One of the Ferraris is damaged!

Vettel still leads ahead of Alonso who has a seriously damaged front wing. Webber has gone up into third while Hamilton is still fourth.

Massa has dropped from second to sixth while Button is up to fifth.

ALONSO IS OUT! His front wing snaps off goes underneath the car. Somehow he doesn't slide into Webber and no-one else is damaged.

It's amazing that Alonso didn't come in with that damaged wing. Did the team tell him to come in and he ignored their orders? Either way he's gone!

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As DRS is enabled Rosberg takes Button for fourth place and we now have two Red Bulls followed by two Mercedes.

Raikkonen's weekend went from bad to worse with a very sloppy start but he's only dropped a single place to 11th. He'll hope to pick up at least a point.

Either way, my prediction of a strong Ferrari race was well and truly wrong. With Alonso out and Massa four places down in sixth, it couldn't have been much worse for the Italian team.

It was a soothing start from Vettel's point of view and he's now a good distance clear at the front. You feel that the only chance of the likes of Hamilton and Rosberg of catching him is for them to come in for dry tryes early.

VETTEL PITS! But it's race leader Vettel who comes in for a set of mediums, he's followed by Massa.

The German struggles, as predicted, through turn three and he's overtaken by three cars but will he be able to use the tyres effectively in the dryer part of the course?

Very interesting, Webber is told to "stay out" as it is "too wet in sector 1" despite Vettel clearing being far quicker in the second half of the lap.

A lot of the other teams have also pitted and it's a horrible stop for Force India as they have to service both cars but have a real problem with Sutil's left rear, holding up Di Resta majorly.

CLANGER! A hilarious moment as Hamilton briefly forget which team he's driving for in the pits! He swerves into the McLaren pit box before realising that he now drives for Mercedes and has to swing forward to their box.

There was also another problem as a Toro Rosso was released straight into Charles Pic and both cars suffered damage. That will be a penalty for the Toro Rosso team for an unsafe release.

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Lap times are beginning to tumble now as the drivers adapt to the medium-compound tyres. Webber now leads on the harder compound of tyre after getting ahead of Vettel during the pit-stop phase.

TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Webber 2 Vettel 3 Hamilton 4 Rosberg 5 Button 6 Hulkenburg 7 Massa 8 Perez 9 Grosjean 10 Raikkonen

Hamilton is eating away at the Red Bulls in front as he closes to within five seconds of leader Webber. Rosberg, in fourth, is the fastest man out there at the moment as he goes a mighty 1.7s quicker than Webber.

STEWARDS ANNOUNCEMENT: The pit-lane incident between Vergne and Pic will be investigated after the race. I was convinced that the Toro Rosso would get a drive-through penalty but we'll have to wait until after the race for any punishment.

The Red Bulls of Webber and Vettel have been told to conserve their tyres and while that may be beneficial in the long run, the two Mercedes are closing rapidly.

OFF! Maldonado skids off the track and loses his front wing. He limps back to the pit and manages to get a new one before rejoining right at the back in 21st.

Just a reminder that Alonso crashed out of the race at the start of the second lap after damaging his front wing in a collision with Vettel, who was unharmed.

Raikkonen and Perez are having a right old ding-dong for ninth place and the Finn finally gets it done on the start-finish straight.

Webber has definitely kicked on a little as he sets the fastest lap of the race with a 1:43.1. He's two-and-a-half seconds ahead of Vettel, with Hamilton and Rosberg a similar distance from each other.

The next phase of pit stops is going to be crucial for the race with the cars a similar distance from each other at the front. Had Hamilton not crazily drove into his former pit box (see Lap 8) he would surely but right up there with the Red Bulls.

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TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Webber 2 Vettel 3 Hamilton 4 Rosberg 5 Button 6 Hulkenburg 7 Massa 8 Grosjean 9 Raikkonen 10 Perez

WEBBER PITS FROM THE LEAD! He gets rid of the hard tyres and bangs on a set of the mediums. It's a stunning 2.3s pit stop and he rejoins just behind Button in sixth.

Vettel is told to stay out for one more lap and he's flying at the moment. Will he come out of the pits ahead of Webber? Hamilton is falling away from the German and teammate Rosberg is now within a couple of seconds of the Englishman.

Massa and Grosjean pit from seventh and eighth and resume the race in 10th and 11th. Di Resta is next and it's another awful stop from Force India as they struggle to fit the front-left tyre.

Hamilton comes in for his second stop and this time he chooses the right pit box to enter. He's followed by Button and Raikkonen as many of the drivers get a new set of rubber. Di Resta is still sat in the pit!

Vettel pits from first place and he's followed by Rosberg. Vettel can't get out ahead of Webber and Rosberg isn't quick enough to get past Hamilton so it's as you were at the front with Webber leading Vettel, Hamilton and Rosberg.

Wow, what is going on at Force India?! Di Resta has finally got out but now Sutil is suffering exactly the same problem as his teammate with the left front.

RETIREMENT! Di Resta's race comes to an end as he enters the pit and is pushed back into the garage. Will Sutil soon follow on a nightmare afternoon for Force India?

The leaders are beginning to stack closer together and we could see some overtakes very soon. Vettel is now on the harder tyre but is closing on Webber while the Mercedes of Hamilton and Rosberg, who has just set a fastest lap, are also edging closer.

Vettel is within the second needed to open his DRS and if he is held up by Webber then Hamilton will close right up. I'm looking forward to this!

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Vettel is again told to "save his tyres", which is a polite way of saying 'slow down'. However, the German will feel that he can't slow down much as Hamilton is right there!

QUOTE: Wow, that is some message from Vettel. He has just told the team: "Mark is too slow, get him out of the way."

Rocky, Vettel's race engineer, reminds his driver to be patient as we're only a half-distance. That really is very unsporting from the German. Tut tut.

Vettel seems to have eased off a little and now must look behind, rather than ahead, as Hamilton once again gets in the one-second DRS window.

HAMILTON PITS from third place and almost takes out Vettel on entry into the pit lane! He rejoins behind old teammate Button in fifth.

Webber and Rosberg also pit and both put on a pair of the harder, prime tyres. Webber's stops this afternoon have been sublime and he should stay ahead of Vettel when the German makes his third stop.

HAMILTON INTO SECOND! Vettel pits and he's overtaken by Hamilton during the phase! He rejoins just ahead of Rosberg in third.

Button is our current race leader but he's yet to make a third stop. It is being reported that the Mercedes must now ease off a little to save some fuel.

Webber flies past Button on the entry into turn one and retakes the lead as Hulkenburg and Raikkonen travel down the pit lane side-by-side. Great stuff.

BUTTON IS STATIONARY IN THE PIT LANE! The right-front tyre didn't go in properly and he had to come to a standstill just a few metres away from his pit box. You're not allowed to reverse in the pit lane so the McLaren engineers have to sprint down the pit lane and roll him back! So disappointing for the Englishman who was having a very solid race.

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Button is back out on track but he's way down in 14th now and any chance of a points finish look bleak. What a nightmare.

TOP 10 UPDATE: 1 Webber 2 Hamilton 3 Vettel 4 Rosberg 5 Massa 6 Grosjean 7 Perez 8 Hulkenburg 9 Raikkonen 10 Bottas

Hamilton is definitely the slowest man of the runaway quartet at the moment as Vettel and Rosberg close up.

VETTEL PASSES HAMILTON! The Englishman has been told to save fuel and it's an easy pass for the German on the start-finish straight.

Hamilton must now look out for teammate Rosberg behind him and they're quite hard to tell apart as they both wear yellow helmets. Hamilton's is a darker shade of yellow and that's how to spot the difference.

Vettel has already moved over two seconds clear of Hamilton but he's still nearly five adrift of leader Webber.

You should now see a cracking picture of the cars right at the start of the race at the top of this page. If not, simply give this page a manual refresh.

HAMILTON PITS from third once more and on go a set of medium tyres. Yet again he's the first man to pit of the front four and while that may help him in the immediate future, will he suffer from degradation towards the end.

Vettel and Rosberg also dive into the pit and the former gets out ahead of Hamilton but Rosberg rejoins behind his teammate. Will Webber also come in now or is he going to stay out a little longer?

After being within a second of Vettel, Hamilton is now over six seconds behind the German and must surely be ready to settle with third place.

GREAT RACING! Webber responds by pitting as well and he rejoins only just ahead of Vettel. The Aussie has to defend like crazy but manages superbly to keep his world champion teammate at bay.

Further back, Hamilton and Rosberg have just traded places on the final corner with Rosberg overtaking Hamilton before the Englishman went back past him into turn one. The Mercedes duo will be hoping that the Red Bull fight up ahead will turn nasty and bring them back into contention.

VETTEL LEADS! Superb wheel-to-wheel stuff between Webber and Vettel into turn one and it continues through two and three before the German gets a better drive out of turn four and takes the lead. Team principal Horner sends a message to Vettel on the team radio, saying: "This is silly Seb, come on."

CRASH! Maldonado fails to finish for the second successive race this season by coming off into the gravel.

We're now into the final 10 laps and Vettel has eked out a 2.7s lead to Webber and now looks set for victory. Hamilton and Rosberg are having their own battle but they're nearly nine seconds adrift and now fighting for the final podium place.

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A little further back, Massa is on far fresher tyres and he breezes past both Perez and Raikkonen to move up into sixth. Let's not forget that the Brazilian had a horrible start though and surrendered his excellent qualifying position of second.

Oh dear, it's not been a day for harmonious teammate relationships. Now it's Rosberg who sends an angry message to his team. He wants to overtake Hamilton but principal Ross Brawn tells him that's a "negative". He tells Rosberg that Lewis is also backing off and simply to finish as they are.

Vettel is told that he is having tyre problems with his left-front. The German has a solid lead though and should make it to the end with around three-and-a-half laps left.

RETIREMENT: Toro Rosso's Ricciardo becomes the fifth man to retire as he tamely comes to a stop in the pit.

Massa, on fresh tyres, sweeps past Grosjean and into the top five. Rosberg continues to vent his frustration but Brawn remains firm, telling the German to drop back a little as he wants to 'bring the cars home'.

RETIREMENT: Button's race is over as he's ordered back to the pits. The Englishman looked nailed on for fifth place until that nightmare pit stop where his right-front wheel didn't go on properly and he dropped back to 14th.

FINAL LAP: Vettel crosses the line for a 55th time and he's almost bagged a first race win of 2013.

Hamilton is told to drive with maximum fuel saving and that's only going to anger Rosberg further.


Webber comes home in second, with Hamilton third, Rosberg fourth and Massa fifth.

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1. Vettel 25pts
2. Webber 18pts
3. Hamilton 15pts
4. Rosberg 12pts
5. Massa 10pts
6. Grojsean 8pts
7. Raikkonen 6pts
8. Hulkenburg 4pts
9. Perez 2pts
10. Vergne 1pt

Wow, Rosberg is absolutely seething. He's told the classic "good drive" post-race message but simply responds with "Remember this one."

Rosberg and Hamilton exchange a friendly handshake but the German must want to whack him one!

STANDINGS! And here's how the overall standings look after that enthralling race:

1. Vettel - 40
2. Raikkonen - 31
3. Webber - 26
4. Hamilton - 25
5. Massa - 22
6. Alonso - 18
7. Rosberg - 12
8. Grosjean - 9
9. Sutil - 6
10. Hulkenburg - 4

HANDBAGS! Goodness me, Webber is absoluting fuming! He comes into the post-race room where they put their sponsors' hats on and doesn't even give Vettel a second look. They now have to do interviews on the podium so this is going to be interesting!

The celebrations are very muted and we all know that there's tensions galore on that podium.

Martin Brundle of Sky Sports F1 will do the post-race interviews on the podium.

Vettel admits that he was "too keen, too soon."

Vettel adds: "If there's something to say, we need to talk about it internally."

Webber: "Seb made his own decisions as usual and he won't be punished for that."

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Webber explains that he was told to begin cruising but soon Vettel was sweeping past him.

Hamilton: "Nico should be standing up here."

Hamilton, on his mistake by driving into the McLaren pit box, "I'm just so used to going in there. I apologise."

Red Bull technician Dr Marko admits that the situation "got out of control".

Red Bull principal Christian Horner tells Sky Sports F1 that, from a team point of view, it was an "exemplary" weekend. He admits that from a drivers' point of view, Vettel ignored team orders and "took it into his own hands". Remarkable.

Anyway, it's about time for us to wrap this up. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for another cracking F1 race. Be sure to keep checking on site for plenty more reaction throughout the day. The next race is in China in three weeks' time, we'll see you then.

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix on March 17, 2013
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Live Commentary: Malaysian GP quali - as it happened

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States20231659
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12191344
Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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