When it rains...
Unbelievable, simply unbelievable.
Our editing suite was stacked with every conceivable song mentioning the word rain. Our hard-working production manager Anne - whose task is to ensure the operation runs smoothly and fill the office fridge with chocolate every morning - was on standby with a stack of BBC umbrellas (that strangely all went missing!). Eddie Jordan had a large stack of shirts waiting to be swapped and changed. And I had researched oodles of stats and facts about what would happen when the rain finally came... which it would, because in Malaysia it always does. Right?
Forty laps in and I'm one of about 60 people standing in the paddock looking skywards in disbelief as the sun continues to beat down.
So, the rains never arrived, but as I sit here on the flight to the UK, getting ever more excited about the scones my wife Harriet promised me she'd bake for my arrival home, I think we can reflect on two pretty successful race weekends since the BBC team boarded the plane for Oz.
One of the highlights for me was EJ's absolute pleasure in seeing the big names call it wrong in qualifying on Saturday. It was clear for all to see just how hot under the collar he was during that qualifying session, and I think his reaction is a small glimpse into the passion he still has for racing.
We were watching qualifying unfold in the Lotus hospitality suite. Because of the (almost) inevitable downpour, it was important for us to have what we call a 'cabled' position, which means if there is a storm of Biblical proportions then we have somewhere dry to broadcast from where we are not using radio frequencies to transmit during a storm.
As we sat alongside a throng of Malaysian businessmen and sponsors who were thrilled to see a Lotus into the second part of qualifying, Eddie was doing a decent impression of Zebedee from the Magic Roundabout.
He was bouncing off his chair, revelling in the smaller teams getting out quickly and putting in a 'banker' lap at the start of the session while the big teams proved that a reliance on computers can be a foolhardy approach. What I was seeing at that precise moment was Eddie Jordan circa 1999.
I can picture him now, resplendent in yellow, jigging up and down on the pit wall as Jordan outsmarted teams with much greater budgets and manpower. It is impossible for Eddie to not be transported back to those moments during qualifying sessions such as the one we had on Saturday - and I love seeing him almost internally combust with excitement. His love of the David v Goliath battles will never leave him and is the reason he achieved so much in the sport.
For those of you who missed the F1 Forum, it was a pretty relaxed affair this week and EJ had an early flight to steal away to. You'll doubtless be pleased to know that both he and his makeshift scooter helmet made it all the way to Kuala Lumpur airport safely. However, some poor Force India pit crew guy may be helmet-less in China!
Almost as interesting as what the viewers do see on air during live TV is the stuff you don't get the chance to see - so here's a bit of an insight into what happened on Sunday.
At the end of our show, poor old 'Tiger' the sound assistant suddenly lost all battery power to the pack that transmits the sound from microphones to you guys at home. Cue mild panic, a quick appearance of a Jenson Button post-race interview and suddenly Ted Kravitz was by my side with his mic, which was still working.
So for the final part of the programme I was using a microphone still attached to 'TK Max's' waist. Well played to him for being in the right place at the right time! So it wasn't only Sauber who had technical issues this weekend - but that's live TV!
I have now made a new resolution that by the time we get to Korea in September and the heat starts to make race weekends exhausting affairs once again, I'm going to be fitter. But being healthy and doing this job is tricky. Here's a good example of why.
On Thursday in Malaysia I was delighted with myself after I managed to make it round the track without stopping. And I am not a natural runner.
If you follow me on Twitter, you may have checked out the two pictures I posted of before and after a tough 5km in sauna-like conditions.
Well, the observant among you will have spotted that I started in daylight and it was dark by the time I finished. I began running with Jonathan Legard and one of our editors, who we called 'Fish-eye' (don't ask!), but by Turn Three they were dots on the horizon as I ungainly dragged 15 stone around the asphalt.
The important thing was the satisfaction I felt at having finished without stopping. However, by Saturday my desire to attain fitness levels to match those of David Coulthard managed to fall apart spectacularly.
Because of the late-afternoon start times in Malaysia, we didn't make it back to the office after qualifying until about 6pm. I then sat down with Mark the boss to plan the running order for Sundays show.
We decided that Adrian Sutil sitting fourth on the grid would be a good live interview if he would agree to it, that we should hear from Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali and his opposite number at McLaren Martin Whitmarsh about qualifying, and that opening the show next to a weather radar on the pit wall would all offer us good value if a team would agree to it.
So, running order sorted, it was into the hire cars, back to the hotel and time to pack. But I was so tired after a long day that I lay on my bed (live TV is more mentally draining than it looks) and promptly woke up five hours later at 2am. I peeled two very sticky contact lenses from my eyes, brushed my teeth and then remembered that not only was there still a live show to prepare for, I also hadn't packed for home.
Now, I am notorious for forgetting stuff and I wanted to avoid an early morning rush so I set my alarm for 5.30am. What seemed like moments later I was woken up by my bleeping phone, jumped in the shower, packed, neurotically checked the room 10 times for stuff I might have forgotten and then set about writing links, 'prepping' interviews and researching online for the show.
Now, we don't use an autocue on the output so all the links, questions, introductions and 'back-refs' (references to what has just been shown) need to be scripted by me, and then(hopefully) learned before we go live. I finally finished my prep at 9.15am, sprinted to reception, checked out and jumped in the car to the circuit.
We rocked up at about 10.30, and sniffed around for the stories. I quickly made sure that Norwich City's defeat on Friday night had not been too damaging (it hadn't, as Leeds lost!) and then the whole team got together to watch the VTs (what we call the short films produced for the pre-race show).
Watching the stuff on tape is important because often we need to react to something that is said during the piece, but when we are live we spend the time the VTs are being broadcast repositioning, sorting the guests and listening to other information coming to us from the gallery (where the editor and director sit, running the show). It's quite involved at that point and easy to miss something. So an hour with Martin Brundle, DC and EJ before the show is an essential part of the build up - as well as a good laugh.
Finally, we're on air with an hour's build-up, the race, the end of the show on terrestrial TV, the hour-long Forum on the red button and then extra filming for the re-run, highlights and BBC News.
When I finally got back to the office at 8pm on Sunday evening, I realised I'd eaten hardly a thing and I promptly devoured a MASSIVE bag of cheese-flavoured crisps and a can of cola. Not the food of a health freak, I know, but I needed to eat something. I figured I'd already blown it by then so I then ordered a cheeseburger at the airport - sorry, Mum!
(My Mum is a home economist and will the thoroughly disappointed with this tale.)
So, I've decided that I now need to work hard on my fitness, particularly as Sunil, one of the VT producers is running the London Marathon and is making us all green with envy as he becomes a picture of health.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the coverage this weekend. It was incredible to see the relief at Red Bull at their one-two finish. Huge kudos to Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil, Robert Kubica, Jaime Algersuari and Nico 'The Hulk' Hulkenberg, who all drove great races, and thanks to the McLaren and Ferrari boys for plenty of entertainment, too.
I'm really sorry to hear about those of you who missed some of the action because of the mid-race switch to BBC Two as a result of the Easter service being on BBC One. We did try to make the move as clear as possible before and during the race and, of course, if you missed anything, you can still watch it on the BBC iPlayer until the weekend.
Right, we've just been told 20 minutes to landing (and that it's 4C in London!). Almost home to see Harriet, who will no doubt tell me the diet 'starts tomorrow' and that her scones will only go to waste... I definitely agree!
See you all in China!