Although Malaysia didn't join the F1 calendar till 1999, FIA-sanctioned racing has been held in Malaysia since the 1960s. Races were originally held in Singapore which was then part of the Malaysian Federation, later they were held at the Shah Alam circuit.

The Malaysian Grand Prix as we know it today has always been held at the new Sepang International Circuit, a track that has offered its fair share of racing spice. Most of the dramas, however, have been down to the weather; hot and humid sunshine quickly giving way to torrential tropical storms.

The first event in 1999 marked a return to racing for Michael Schumacher, who had broken his leg at the British Grand Prix earlier in the season. He proved his fitness by putting his Ferrari on pole and finishing second - the race was won by team mate Eddie Irvine, a win that was to be his last in F1.

In 2001 the race was hit by a massive storm - the two Ferraris of Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello spun out at the same corner, but such was the speed of the pair that they went onto record a 1-2 for the team.

In 2008 the Sepang management announced their desire to become a night race in 2009, but plans were shelved and the race was moved to a late afternoon start-time. However, rain forced the race to be stopped on lap 33. Despite the rain easing, the race could not be restarted because it had become too dark. Grand Prix Drivers Association (GPDA) director Mark Webber said, "It's dark now at seven o'clock so it was the right call not to make the re-start."

The result was declared as the results stood at the end of lap 31 and as less than 75% of the race had been completed only half points were awarded to the top eight. For 2010 the race will start an hour earlier in order to avoid the same issue.