Race

16:00 They're away on the warm-up lap, with news of rain four kilometres away, but not forecast to hit the circuit. But as we all know, forecasts don't mean everything! All of the top 10 are starting on the soft tyres that they qualified on, so it will be interesting to see who can make the tyres last in the first stint.

Also a bit of news that Mark Webber has an as yet unconfirmed problem that Red Bull are unable to solve at the moment. We'll try and find out more. The grid is forming...

15:58 While our eyes have been fairly firmly fixed on the battle between Red Bull and McLaren, we haven't forgotten HRT, who is starting its first race of the season after qualifying within 107% yesterday.

15:56 All of the drivers are trying to keep cool as they sit in their cars on the grid. This race is a tough one physically due to the humidity in Malaysia, which is up at 83% at the moment.

15:52 It's a lot cooler than Saturday was, with dark clouds all around the track. All the talk has been about rain so far today, but how about some input from you? Let us know who you think will win (or anything else you want to tell us) by getting in touch at the link above, and via Twitter @ESPNF1_live or using the hashtag #ESPNF1.

15:50 Qualifying was extremely close yesterday, with just 0.3 seconds separating Sebastian Vettel on pole from Jenson Button in fourth. It won't just be a tight battle at the front either, with Lotus showing they have started to latch on to the back of the midfield pack.

15:47 With the DRS expected to be more effective and tyre degradation higher, the weather could add another variable to the race today. It's dry at the moment, but rain is expected.

15:45 Morning all, and welcome to our live text commentary of the Malaysian Grand Prix. After Red Bull's dominance in Melbourne, McLaren have closed the gap even more. We're all set for a brilliant battle...

Lap 1

Solid start from Vettel, awful one from Webber who slips back to ninth. Fantastic start from both Renault's with Heidfeld getting round the outside of Hamilton for second in turn one, and Petrov going up to fifth.

Lap 2

Hamilton struggling to close in on Heidfeld at the moment.

Vettel has a 2 second lead over Heidfeld after the first lap. Schumacher had a good start too up to eighth. Di Resta and Rosberg battle through turns five and six, with Rosberg holding the Scot off in 13th.

Lap 3

Replays of the start show Webber has no KERS off the line, while Petrov was going round the outside of turn one but Button held him off through two.

The DRS is now enabled on all cars.

There was some contact between Maldonado and Perez in to turn one but both continue.

Barrichello has a puncture as he exits the final corner and has to now do a whole lap at low speed.

Lap 4

Barrichello finally pits, leaving him a lap down as Massa goes up the inside of Petrov in to turn one for fifth place. DRS helping him there.

Lap 5

Petrov runs wide in to turn 14, allowing Alonso through in to sixth and has Schumacher all over the back of him.

Webber has dropped back to tenth now, with Kobayashi getting ahead of him. A nightmare start fot the Australian. Vettel gets warned that there may be a bit of rain over the next 30 minutes but nothing heavy.

Lap 6

Webber dives up the inside of Kobayashi in to turn 14.

Hamilton is within a second of Heidfeld in second as they come down the back straight.

Schumacher looks up the inside of Petrov in to turn one but can't make it stick. Schumacher is then turned to look after his tyres and expect rain "in five to ten minutes".

Lap 7

Hamilton again very close behind Heidfeld.

Kobayashi cruises back past Webber using KERS and the DRS in to turn one. Immediately behind them Buemi runs wide trying to put pressure on his team-mate Alguersuari.

Lap 8

Webber gets up the inside of Kobayashi in to turn one, holds him off through two after running wide, and then loses the place again in to turn four. Plenty of moves going on here.

Button is almost 4 seconds behind his team-mate in fourth place, with Massa another 1.7 seconds back.

Hamilton's too far back to use the DRS effectively though. Vettel tells his team he is starting to pick up some vibrations. He leads Heidfled by 4.7 seconds.

Lap 9

Spots of rain visible on the on-board camera on Hamilton's car, as he sits about a second behind Heidfeld.

Maldonado is in the pits.

Lap 10

Webber pits at the end of the lap, putting on another set of soft tyres. Di Resta locks up heavily in to the final corner.

Maldonado doesn't leave the pits and becomes the first retirement of the afternoon.

Button finding a bit more pace now, closing the gap to Hamilton to 2.4 seconds. Vettel is comfortably quicker though with a 1:44.7 compared to Heidfeld's 1:45.8.

Lap 11

Hamilton is told to look after his tyres if he can't pass Heidfeld, he's close again out of the final corner.

Lap 12

Di Resta pits.

Heidfeld backs Hamilton up through turn one. Button has Massa and Alonso for close company as all three close up on the two in front of them.

Lap 13

Awful timing for Hamilton as it starts to rain.

Kobayashi goes around the outside of Schumacher to take eighth place.

Hamilton pits earlier than expected, putting on another set of soft tyres and just holding off Alguersuari as he rejoins.

Lap 14

Hamilton goes round the outside of both Buemi and Schumacher as they are three abreast down the back straight. Schumacher pits as does Alonso.

As they all filter out, Heidfeld loses out badly. Hamilton jumps him, as does Button. Massa with a difficult pit stop costing him time too. Alonso the only man not to pit of the top six yet.

Vettel pits, and puts on a set of soft tyres, as does Button. Hamilton may just get away with it.

Lap 15

Petrov is leading having yet to pit. Vettel in second with rain on his camera. Trulli goes straight on at turn one to show the impact of the rain. Everyone still on dry tyres.

Lap 16

Karthikeyan retires in the HRT, and Alguersuari and Perez go wheel to wheel through turn nine, with Alguersuari losing out and Di Resta taking him too.

Hamilton sets the fastest lap of the race and closes in on Vettel by over a second. Vettel has been told that he's on "Plan B".

Petrov pits from the lead. Button is ahead of Alonso now, as Petrov rejoins just behind Massa in 10th position.

Lap 17

Alonso now passes Kobayashi too, who is struggling on very worn tyres. That puts the Spaniard in third place.

Alonso goes up the inside of Button in to turn one and pulls away very quickly.

Lap 18

The gap between the front two is 6.3 seconds, with Alonso a further 4.3s behind. Webber is up to sixth behind Button and Heidfeld.

Buemi is under investigation for speeding in the pit lane as Kobayashi pits. Massa sets the fastest lap so far.

Lap 19

Button and Alonso were both quicker than Vettel on the previous lap too.

Hamilton does the fastest lap of the race and takes over half a second out of Vettel's lead.

Buemi's stop and go penalty is confirmed for pit lane speeding.

Lap 20

Vettel, Hamilton, Alondo and Hamilton all on the same straight.

The rain has stopped on the pit straight now as Alonso sets the fastest lap of the race, taking 0.7 seconds out of Hamilton ahead.

Lap 21

We've just seen a replay of a bit of bodywork falling off the back of Petrov's car.

Buemi pits for the second time.

Alonso again half a second quicker than Hamilton, as Webber asks for more front wing over the radio.

Lap 22

Webber pits and rejoins in 11th. Looks like a four stop strategy.

Hamilton is now within 5 seconds of Vettel, who had a slower lap than Alonso, Button, Heidfeld and Massa.

Webber is on "Plan A", and now has Massa all over the back of him. The Ferrari eases past on the run up to turn four. Webber struggling without KERS.

Lap 23

Button pits for another set of soft tyres.

Di Resta is up to ninth with another strong drive, 3.7 seconds ahead of Schumacher.

Heidfeld runs wide at turn 11, which will drop him back in to the clutches of Massa.

Lap 24

Barrichello retires, so both of the Williams are now out.

Hamilton pits for a new set of hard tyres, and rejoins just behind Petrov.

Webber gets past Kobayash in turn 11 and now looks to get past Schumacher.

Button rejoins in seventh. Vettel is still slipping backwards towards Hamilton and Alonso. The gap is now 3.9 seconds as Vettel says his tyres are starting to go past their best.

Lap 25

Vettel pits from the lead, so Alonso is now in first place. Vettel stays on the soft tyre, but rejoins behind the battling pair of Heidfeld and Massa.

Perez also retires, pulling off the track at the start of the back straight.

Lap 26

Hamilton goes up the inside of Petrov in to turn five, pushing the Russian out on to the marbles. Vettel stuck right behind Massa and will need to get ahead of him quickly as Hamilton is only 4 seconds behind.

Lap 27

Button is close behind Hamilton, while so managed to jump Alonso in the pit stops. Massa now pits.

Alonso pits and puts on soft tyres. Vettel makes use of his DRS and passes Massa up the inside in to turn one as Heidfeld pits too.

Lap 28

Petrov pits too, and Massa rejoins just ahead of Kobayashi and Schumacher who are battling in to turn one. Kobayashi gets past as Schumacher struggles on worn tyres.

As you were after the pit stops for the front two, with Vettel leading Hamilton by 3.9 seconds, but Hamilton on the hard tyre.

Lap 29

Vettel is told not to use KERS over his team radio, which is clearly costing him time.

Hamilton matching Vettel's times despite being on the harder tyre.

Alonso complaining that his DRS didn't activate when it should have.

Lap 30

Button and Hamilton are given the message that Vettel can't use KERS.

Hamilton takes another two tenths out of Vettel, with Button even quicker and 5.2 seconds behind the leader in third.

Lap 31

Schumacher is slipping backwards, down in 11th now. Not a good day for Mercedes with Rosberg in 15th and only 2.5 seconds ahead of Kovalainen, who is two stopping.

Vettel picks up the pace, stretching his lead over Hamilton to 4.4 seconds, and is again told not to use KERS.

Lap 32

Kobayashi is now eighth ahead of Petrov, with the pair close in to the final hairpin.

Button gets sideways through turn five, and is comfortably pulling away from Alonso.

Lap 33

Vettel stretches his lead by another second, while Webber pits and rejoins ahead of the Petrov/Kobayashi. Petrov gets by in to turn one, but Kobayashi is the only man in the top ten on a two stop strategy.

Lap 34

Sutil cruises past Alguersuari for 13th place on the run towards turn one.

Alonso is on soft tyres and does his fastest lap of the race. He's just over 5 seconds behind Button.

Trulli retires from 17th place, becoming our fifth casualty along with Perez, Barrichello, Karthikeyan and Maldonado. He's still in the car though so Lotus may be trying to get him back out on track.

Vettel does the new fastest lap of the race, a second quicker than Hamilton and Button behind him. KERS not seeming to cost him too much time right now.

Lap 35

Alonso closing on Button quickly, now just over 4 seconds back.

Perez retired after he hit some debris from Buemi's car, which led to a loss of power.

Lap 36

Webber showing some improved pace, setting the new fastest lap of the race with a 1:41.4.

Lap 37

Vettel's lead is now up to 8.8 seconds. Hamilton pits to put on another set of hard tyres.

Lap 38

A very slow stop for Hamilton, the front left not going on cleanly. And he returns to the track just ahead of Webber.

Lap 39

Di Resta passes Rosberg on the run down to the final corner.

The three cars of Button, Hamilton and Webber running very close, Hamilton slipping backwards though on this set of hard tyres.

Button pits from second place, also going on to hard tyres. He rejoins ahead of Hamilton.

Lap 40

Heidfeld pits and rejoins in seventh. Button has pulled clear and Hamilton is told that he has to make his tyres last for 17 laps.

Lap 41

Alonso pits and rejoins in fifth behind Hamiltona and Webber.

Vettel responds to that pace and pits for his hard tyres.

Vettel still running on his soft tures, and Button does the fastest lap of the race with a 1:41.3 That's 1.5 seconds quicker than Vettel.

Lap 42

Button is 9 seconds behind Vettel after the pit stops. The track temperature is under 30C so Webber may try to go to the end of the race on his current set of hard tyres.

Lap 43

Petrov lets Heidfeld through in to the final corner, and then Massa comes through up the inside in to turn one.

The two Renaults running line astern in sixth and seventh, just ahead of Felipe Massa.

Schumacher runs very wide through turn seven, and Kobayashi closes in before passing in to turn nine. Schumacher then pits.

Lap 44

Button and Vettel trading similar lap times. Webber pits again, on to another set of hard tyres for his fourth stop of the day, He rejoins in eighth place.

Lap 45

Alonso is told his rear wing is not working, but he is still right behind Hamilton.

D'Ambrosio has retired, pulling off after turn nine.

Alonso all over the back of Hamilton, but Hamilton defends well through the first four corners.

Lap 46

Hamilton with some damage to his floor but able to continue. Alonso has to pit for a new front wing.

Alonso unable to make enough progress along the pit straight. On the run down to turn four he tries to pass and clips the right rear of Hamilton, damaging his front wing.

Lap 47

The gap between Vettel and Button at the front is eight seconds. Webber does the fastest lap of the race with a 1:40.5, and is now sixth ahead of Alonso.

Lap 48

Petrov passes Kobayashi for eighth, muscling through in to turn four..

Webber is putting pressure on Massa after some very quick laps.

Rosberg passes Alguersuari in to turn one for 14th.

Button takes half a second out of Vettel, who may well be just trying to manage the gap.

Lap 49

Button is warned that his tyres have to last until the end of the race, having just brought the gap down to 6.9 seconds.

Webber tries to go round the outside of Massa in to turn one but can't find a way through.

Lap 50

Heidfeld closing quickly on Hamilton, 1.2 seconds quicker on the last lap and now just over a second behind.

Webber and Massa are the closest two on the track, and this time Webber makes it stick with a great move around the outside of turn one, balancing the throttle to position himself on the inside of turn two.

Lap 51

The front two are 6 seconds apart, with Hamilton 19 seconds further back. Heidfeld is a second behind and Webber is less than 5 seconds away too.

Lap 52

Hamilton pits, and drops behind Alonso and Petrov. Rejoining in eighth place.

In fact, Hamilton goes off at turn seven and allows Webber through.

Webber is closing on Hamilton now.

Heidfeld gets past the struggling Hamilton up the inside in to turn one for third place.

5 laps to go, and Button is beind told not to push too hard.

Lap 53

Webber is closing on Heidfeld, and his race engineer tells him the the Renault has been on the hard tyre for four laps longer.

Lap 54

Petrov is off the track, with replays showing him running wide and then coming back on track at full speed, clipping the kerb and getting airborne, with his steering column breaking as he lands.

Lap 55

Liuzzi has also joined the list of retirements.

Heidfeld locks up in to turn nine and runs wide, Webber within half a second behind him.

Webber right up behind Heidfeld but unable to use his DRS.

Lap 56

Massa comes home in fifth and Alonso sixth, with Hamilton seventh and Kobayashi eighth. Schumacher finishes ninth ahead of Paul Di Resta who secures the final point.

Vettel comes across to win, weaving his way over the line. Button comes home just over three seconds back after that showboating, while Heidfeld holds off Webber for third.

Vettel cruising home at the front ahead of Button. The action is all for third place, while Massa has Alonso close behind in fifth.

So, as the champagne is sprayed our text commentary comes to an end. Another win for Vettel and Red Bull, but McLaren are closing. Thanks very much for following, join us for the Chinese Grand Prix next weekend.

Vettel celebrates his second consecutive victory on the podium, though it was a little tougher than his first.

Button says to Vettel about the fast-starting Renaults: "Unbelievable, I don't know where they came from!"

Vettel stands on his car and celebrates his win. His lead in the championship is already 24 points over Jenson Button.

Massa appears to run out of fuel on his way back to the pits, and has to leave his car out on the track.

The gap between Webber and Heidfeld was 1.3 seconds at the end. Kovalainen finishes 15th for Lotus only one lap down, just 0.4 seconds behind Alguersuari.

"In the heat we kept our heads cool. Every week it's a pleasure" says Vettel on the radio.