Malaysian GP qualifying as it happened

Text and video highlights of rain-hit qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position.

29 March 2014 Last updated at 04:32

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As it happened

  1. 11:35: 

    I'll be back at 07:30 GMT to bring you live coverage of the Malaysian Grand Prix, round two of the Formula 1 World Championship. The build-up show on BBC One will start at 08:00, with BBC Radio 5 live hitting the airwaves at 08:30. The lights then go out at 09:00.

    Until then, it's good morning from me. See ya.

  2. 11:33: 

    Will it rain tomorrow? It's Malaysia, so who knows? If it does, anything can happen. But if it's dry, Mercedes have got the victory in their back pocket providing they are reliable.

    Sebastian Vettel showed today that he will be very much in the mix, as will the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso. If it's dry, Williams can't be discounted, while McLaren, who lead the constructors' championship, will surely play a part.

    Tomorrow's race has all the ingredients for an absolute corker of a grand prix. You'd be mad to miss it.

  3. 11:30: 
    Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

    Rain is a great leveller and in Malaysia today, we had buckets of the stuff. The result was that we had arguably the two best drivers on the grid - Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel - battling it out for pole position and they were separated by just 0.055 seconds.

  4. 11:26: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    If you're just tuning in, qualifying was wet, very wet. Here's a video how Lewis Hamilton danced his Mercedes around the Sepang International Circuit in slippery conditions to secure pole.

  5. 11:25: 

    Kevin Magnussen, who qualified eighth but suffered damage to his McLaren when he went off travel and into the gravel at the final hairpin during the session, says: "I don't know what the damage is but I suspect there was some damage to the car.

    "It was not easy to get it right - we should have gone out on the wets in the beginning, but I'm still learning about the conditions and the tyres. It's all good experience for me. Position eight is not bad, though it's not good either. I do feel the car is quite good in those conditions - we just got the timing a bit wrong. The car is behaving well."

  6.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "So, Friday, Bernie told the BBC the teams had told him there was no way to make the engines louder. Today, he says "we think there's a way". He added: "They're working on it and I think we're going to get it done."

  7. 11:19: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    On equalling Jim Clark's all-time British pole record, Lewis Hamilton says: "When they mentioned it I couldn't believe it. In all these years, I would never have dreamed I have had the amount of poles I have. I'm really proud, and it's because I have a great group of people I'm working with that enable me to get in the car and do those things.

    "In the rain, I don't think we lose time - I think other teams gain time. For Vettel to be that close is surprising but he has too many poles so I'm glad as I was able to steal one of them!"

  8. 11:13: 

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg is feeling pretty positive despite missing out on the front row. "I'm pleased with that," he tells Lee McKenzie. "Third is OK - it's not pole but it's still a great place. The race is long, and things can change. I'm happy in the wet or dry. In both conditions, our car is quick."

  9. 11:10: 

    Lee McKenzie has grabbed reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel for a chat after he just missed out on pole. "It was close, a bit too close," he said. "It was tricky out there with a lot of water on the track. There were some rivers in places.

    " I knew after the first lap that there was more to be gained but I couldn't finish my second lap plus I was pushing a little too hard. Pole was there today, but Lewis did the better job, a stronger first lap. But to split the Mercedes was very good for us. All-in-all we can be happy - after a tough winter we're getting stronger."

  10.  

    Marussia driver Max Chilton, who qualified 21st, on Twitter: Frustrating qualifying for us as the car was good but only got a clear lap on the lap I was recovering. Ready for either conditions tomorrow.

  11. 11:05: 

    Mercedes' executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe, speaking to Tom Clarkson: "It was straightforward until Q3 - we were trying to manage traffic and change the tyres - it was on the cusp between full wets and intermediates.

    "It was a close call but we stayed with full wets. It's nice to be ahead of Ferrari, but a shame we couldn't get the front row for both drivers."

    Hamilton starts on pole with Rosberg third.

  12. 11:03: 

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel had a problem during qualifying, which team boss Christian Horner said was the Energy recovering system shutting down. "We had to reboot the whole system," said Horner. "It fixed itself and then it was OK for the rest of the session. We'll have to look at it tonight."

  13. 10:58: 

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner, speaking to Tom Clarkson: "If Seb would have had a clean last lap, he just got traffic, we would have had a crack at it [pole]. Dan was up on Seb, but he got caught, too. But overall, it's better than we expected coming here."

  14. 10:54: 

    "We're missing some downforce on the car," says Williams' Felipe Massa, who qualified 13th. "Again, we've not qualified where we should be but we'll see tomorrow what happens in the race."

  15. 10:50: 

    Pastor Maldonado is looking at the positives after qualifying 17th for Lotus, who are struggling to get much mileage let along pace. "I think it was much better than last weekend," he said. "It was a clear step forward. We had so many issues yesterday on both cars, but today was much better.

    "It was a bit of a lottery in qualifying. We stopped too late so we weren't able to finish lap because of the red flag. I'm a bit disappointed but there are positive things for the team. Hopefully tomorrow will be good for the team."

  16. 10:45: 
    DAVID COULTHARD Q&A

    And here are a few more...

    Why have he FIA decided to quieter the engines? That is part of the thrill of the race surely now the cars sound like mopeds.

    DC: They haven't decided to do that. They have decided to keep Formula One relevant to everybody who uses mobility. The future of mobility is smaller capacity engines and more use of recoverable energy. It is very simple. Less combustible material makes a smaller bang.

    Don't you think it would make F1 races more interesting if the most powerful cars started from the back of the grid and cars like Caterham start from the front?

    DC: It would certainly spice things up but life is not a handicap system and sport shouldn't be either. Should Usain Bolt start 10 metres behind everybody else? The regulations are very clear and everybody operates under the same conditions.

  17. 10:42: 
    DAVID COULTHARD Q&A

    As mentioned previously, David Coulthard has been answering your questions on the BBC Sport Facebook page. Check out all his answers there but here are a selection of his replies.

    What does the light found above the air duct above the drivers helmet relate to?

    DC: It is an indication to marshals and mechanics when the car stops on track whether it is safe to touch. You could get a huge electric shock from the car.

    Who is the best driver you have ever raced?

    DC: You have to say the best driver in the history of our sport is Michael Schumacher. It is very difficult to look beyond him.

    Is Formula 1 really about drivers now, or is it being determined by technical rule changes to suit certain manufacturers?

    DC: It is all about people. People design the engines, people design the cars. You have individuals at the top of their respective games.

  18. 10:36: 
    Marcus Ericsson

    The Caterham mechanics, who have been working super hard already this weekend following problem after problem, have another busy night ahead of them after Marcus Ericsson crashed in qualifying. If you missed it, watch it again here.

  19. 10:30: 

    Lewis Hamilton is looking for his 100th points finish of his F1 career this weekend as well as his first podium in nine races. The Briton has finished third on his last two visits to Malaysia.

  20. 10:25: 
    David Coulthard

    Did you head to the BBC Sport Facebook page to post a question for David Coulthard? Well if you did, you might be lucky enough to have it answered as the BBC F1 co-commentator is tapping away with his answers right now.

  21. 10:20: 
    QUALIFYING IN 60 WORDS

    Lewis Hamilton delivers to take pole and equal Jim Clark's all-time British pole record of 33. Sebastian Vettel agonisingly close in second as Williams suffer in the rain.

    Ferrari work wonders to fix Fernando Alonso's car after collision with Daniil Kvyat and qualifies fourth. Caterham's Marcus Ericsson's first time driving an F1 car in the wet ends with a crash.

  22.  

    Final word from Lewis Hamilton: "For myself and for the team, the priority is to bag as many points as possible. We've got great a great opportunity, a great car and a team that is performing fantastically right now. Fingers crossed we can see ourselves through to the finish line."

  23.  

    Nico Rosberg, who finished third: "I was a little bit less comfortable on the full wets, especially braking. But third is still a decent place to be - who knows what the weather is going to do tomorrow? I'm looking forward to the race now, to try and make the most of third."

  24.  

    Sebastian Vettel, who finished second: "At the beginning of Q1, the heartbeat was rising very quickly when we realised there was an issue. I came in, we restarted the car and that seemed to solve the problem. After that it was fine. It was good to go out and get another feel in the wet conditions. Q3 was not perfect. I would have loved to have a second go. My first attempt, I felt there was time to gain here and there. It was very close, too close. I should be on the good side for tomorrow but it depends on how good the start is. I'm happy with the result."

  25.  

    Lewis Hamilton, who starts on pole: "I'm all over the place at the moment. I'm really happy with how well we've done over the weekend, but today was incredible - how heavy was the rain? It was tricky out there for everyone because at the end it was almost impossible to see. I couldn't see where the track went, where the corners were, where to brake. I had to bail out of my final fast lap, so it was very close."

  26. 10:13: 
    Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel

    Time to hear from the top three...

  27.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Adam Harkin: I've never been so glad to see Seb do well. Hopefully we can have a full on scrap for the podiums tomorrow.

    Jordan: 2nd for Vettel, even with another the lap he wouldn't have gone quicker. Great result though, especially with his ace pace.

    Marianne Mahendra: Lewis Hamilton on pole! Not going to get too excited cause we know how that ended in Australia

    Andrew Leason: Get in Lewis! Pole again! Let's hope you can actually finish the race in the same position tomorrow.

  28.   
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Lewis and Nico came out of the traps in the first part of qualifying and looked comfortable, but Lewis built it and built it up. He saves it for the third session when it really counts and he was special today."

  29. 10:08: 

    McLaren's Jenson Button, who qualified 10th: "When you're probably going to be eighth on wets it's worth a punt to on intermediates. It is what it is. I, we, didn't think it was going to rain again so it was worth a go, but it was pretty wet out at the back of the track. I chose to go on inters - I normally make the call and get it right, but I didn't today."

  30. 10:06: 
    THE GRID

    1) Hamilton 2) Vettel 3) Rosberg 4) Alonso 5) Ricciardo 6) Raikkonen 7) Hulkenberg 8) Magnussen 9) Vergne 10) Button

    11) Kvyat 12) Gutierrez 13) Massa 14) Perez 15) Bottas 16) Grosjean

    17) Maldonado 18) Sutil 19) Bianchi 20) Kobayashi 21) Chilton 22) Ericsson

  31. 10:04: 
    Malaysian GP

    "You're kidding!" says Sebastian Vettel to Lewis Hamilton when he sees how close it was for pole position. Hamilton pipped Vettel by 0.055 seconds.

  32. 10:03: 

    Lewis Hamilton matches Jim Clark's all-time British record with 33 pole positions. Can the Briton convert it into his first Malaysian Grand Prix victory?

  33. 10:02: 
    POLE POSITION
    Malaysian GP

    Lewis Hamilton takes pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  34. 10:01: 

    Nico Rosberg improves on his final lap to take third, pushing Fernando Alonso down to fourth.

  35. 10:00: 

    Lewis Hamilton has gone off at Turn Four. That's his hopes of improving over. Can Nico Rosberg or Fernando Alonso take advantage?

  36. 09:59: 

    Everyone is backing up at the final hairpin as they bid to get some space and Red Bull get it wrong! Sebastian Vettel hasn't made it across the line in time. His qualifying is over. The German is currently second fastest, though.

  37.  
    TEAM RADIO

    Lewis Hamilton: "I can't see anything in my mirrors - I can't see where anyone is."

  38. 09:58: 

    It looks like the rain is intensifying because no one is improving at the moment.

  39. 09:57: 

    Felipe Massa, who will start 13th for Williams: "In the wet we are behind [the others], in the dry we are fighting for the top six. We're missing understanding in the wet. Again we are starting in the position we are supposed to be. I hope it's not raining tomorrow."

  40. 09:56: 

    Kimi Raikkonen pits, as does Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso.

  41. 09:55: 

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel pits and goes for a new set of full wet tyres. Jenson Button is still plodding round on the intermediate tyres and is currently 10th fastest.

  42. 09:54: 

    Lewis Hamilton can't improve, though. Neither can his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg who makes a mistake down at turns seven and eight.

  43. 09:53: 

    Lewis Hamilton is told to keep pushing, so expect the Briton to do one more lap before pitting for new boots.

  44. 09:52: 

    Lewis Hamilton goes quickest with a 1:59.431, with Sebastian Vettel just a few thousandths further back. Fernando Alonso is third with Nico Rosberg fourth.

  45. 09:51: 

    Kimi Raikkonen clocks a 2:01.218 for starters. That'll be easily beaten by Mercedes I'm sure.

  46. 09:50: 

    Kevin Magnussen comes in and changes to the full wet. His McLaren team-mate Jenson Button pits, too, but goes for the intermediates. Looks like the 2009 world champion is going for the gamble.

  47.   
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "It's very un-McLaren to find themselves in this situation [with the wrong, intermediate, tyres]. I wonder if they're relying too much on information being delivered to them rather than what they can see in the pit lane."

  48. 09:49: 

    McLaren tell Kevin Magnussen to pit after the Dane tells the team that it's too wet for the intermediate tyres he is running on. Another strategic mistake from the team.

  49. 09:48: 

    Double world champion Mika Hakkinen, speaking to Suzi Perry: "You can see the cars are very difficult to drive and are very much on the limit. We've seen a couple of cars spinning off, because not all the drivers have the experience of the wet. Conditions are very difficult and accidents can happen easily, so we should not be too critical."

  50.   
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "The Mercedes seem to have so much pace around this race track in both wet and dry conditions."

  51. 09:47: 
    FINAL QUALIFYING STARTS

    The two Mercedes cars don't seem to keen to get out first for Q3. Instead, Kimi Raikkonen is the first man out, with Jenson Button not too far behind.

  52.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Christopher Crowther: Surprised to see Williams struggle despite promising start to the season. Clearly need to find something on wet conditions.

    Tone: Breaking - Big progress for Lotus as they keep car running for entire sessions consecutively #F1

    David Greaves: What a great ending to Q2 with drivers fighting to get in the top 10. Loved it!

  53. 09:45: 

    Caterham's Marcus Ericsson, who crashed in Q1: "It was a really slippery out there, I was trying to build my pace, but I just did a mistake. The car seemed to be quite damaged, but I'm sure guys will work hard overnight and we should be OK for tomorrow."

  54. 09:43: 
    IN

    1) Hamilton 2) Vettel 3) Rosberg 4) Ricciardo 5) Hulkenberg 6) Alonso 7) Raikkonen 8) Button 9) Magnussen 10) Vergne

  55. 09:42: 

    Jean-Eric Vergne nipped into the top 10 in the closing seconds of that session, bumping his Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat out of qualifying.

  56. 09:41: 
    OUT

    11) Kvyat 12) Gutierrez 13) Massa 14) Perez 15) Bottas 16) Grosjean

  57. 09:40: 
    SECOND QUALIFYING ENDS

    Lewis Hamilton finishes fastest in the second part of qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  58. 09:39: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG

    Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat scrapes into the top 10 but there are still a few cars out there on flying laps.

  59. 09:38: 

    Lewis Hamilton is still quickest, 0.4 seconds clear of Nico Rosberg with Sebastian Vettel third and Daniel Ricciardo fourth.

  60. 09:36: 

    Grosjean, Gutierrez, Massa, Vergne, Kvyat and Bottas are in the drop zone. While the Williams has looked good in the dry, it is clear that it doesn't work so well in the wet.

  61. 09:35: 

    Jenson Button scrapes into the top 10, but he's on the bubble in 10th. Big moment for his McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen who loses the rear end at the final hairpin and slides off into the gravel. The good news for the Dane is that he hasn't got far to go to get back to the pits.

  62. 09:34: 
    Malaysian GP

    Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel, who took pole here last year, goes second quickest in the Red Bull, 0.460 seconds off the pace.

  63. 09:33: 

    With six minutes remaining, Gutierrez, Massa, Button, Kvyat, Bottas and Vergne are currently in the drop zone.

  64. 09:32: 

    Good stuff from Daniel Ricciardo who slots into second, splitting the Mercedes. His Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel goes fourth, 1.1 seconds off the pace.

  65. 09:31: 

    Decent effort from Kevin Magnussen who goes third, albeit 2.6 seconds off the pace. Sergio Perez is fourth, Kimi Raikkonen fifth and Jenson Button eighth.

  66. 09:30: 

    Lewis Hamilton goes quickest with a 1:59.418 with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg going second, one second off the pace.

  67.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Tone: OK there was contact that's likely ended Alonso's session, but NOT Red Flag worthy really.

    Eden: I've got to go out in an hour. Malaysian weather - please stop being stupid! Drivers - please stop running into things.

    Michelle: At this rate, the race will be starting before quali has finished!

  68. 09:29: 

    The incident between Fernando Alonso and Daniil Kvyat will be investigated after the session.

  69. 09:28: 

    Great work from Ferrari who fix Fernando Alonso's car and send him out following contact with Daniil Kvyat earlier in the session.

  70. 09:27: 

    Everyone on full wets apart from Valtteri Bottas who has gone for the intermediates. I'm not sure that was such a wise move as it's pretty wet out there.

  71. 09:26: 
    SECOND QUALIFYING RESTARTS

    We're back up and running once again...

  72. 09:24: 

    The Ferrari mechanics are busy working to fix the front right suspension on Fernando Alonso's car before the session restarts. There will be 12 minutes and 46 seconds on the clock when we get going again.

  73. 09:22: 

    Replays show that Daniil Kvyat and Fernando Alonso made contact out on track. Kvyat locked up and slid into Alonso, breaking the Ferrari's front wishbone.

  74. 09:21: 
    RED FLAG

    We've got a red flag for debris on track.

  75. 09:20: 

    Kimi Raikkonen tells his team that the car is aquaplaning even where there isn't much water so he wants to pit for a set of full wet tyres. Strategic error from Ferrari there?

  76. 09:19: 
    SECOND QUALIFYING STARTS

    Here we go, then. It's time for Q2. This session will last 15 minutes.

  77. 09:18: 

    Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso has gone for the intermediate tyres, while both McLarens have gone for the full wets.

  78. 09:16: 

    Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have headed out on the full wet tyres. They've parked up at the pit lane exit, as they did at the start of Q1. Not long until Q2 starts...

  79.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Chris: Even Mum, who's not an f1 fan, just said they (the engines) aren't as noisy as before... And mothers are never wrong.

    William Lloyd: I'm somewhat amazed the Caterham was actually travelling quick enough for Ericsson to have a crash.

    Christopher Crowther: McLaren got away with that. Some real struggles this morning as well as starting on wrong tyre and have only just made it through.

  80. 09:14: 
    IN

    Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Bottas, Massa, Perez, grosjean, Magnussen, Button, Gutierrez, Kvyat and Vergne.

  81. 09:13: 
    OUT

    17) Maldonado 18) Sutil 19) Bianchi 20) Kobayashi 21) Chilton 22) Ericsson

  82. 09:12: 
    FIRST QUALIFYING ENDS

    Nico Rosberg finishes fastest in the first part of qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  83. 09:11: 
    Malaysian GP

    Replays show that Marcus Ericsson got out of shape on the exit of Turn Three, ran onto the grass, clattered into the barrier and spun across the track.

  84.   
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "It looks like a fairly straightforward error from Ericsson..."

  85. 09:09: 
    RED FLAG
    Malaysian GP

    The session has been red flagged with 35 seconds to go. Marcus Ericsson has climbed out of the car, but there's quite a lot of damage to that Caterham.

  86. 09:07: 
    CRASH!

    Marcus Ericsson, who has never driven a Formula 1 car in the wet, crashes.

  87.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Andrew Heginbotham: How long will it take people to start to complain about a Mercedes team domination?

    Nathan Houston: Best phrase ever "Sebastian, we have problems with the car."

    Antoinette Peach: Really still not liking the dreadful Mickey Mouse engine noise! It's just not F1.

  88. 09:05: 

    Everyone apart from the two Mercedes cars are out on track with just over two minutes remaining.

  89. 09:04: 

    Red Bull have sorted the problem on Sebastian Vettel's car and sent him back out on track. It's a lap from the reigning world champion and he goes third fastest, 0.471 seconds off the pace.

  90. 09:03: 

    Pastor Maldonado is down in the drop zone now, along with Adrian Sutil, Jules Bianchi, Kamui Kobayashi, Max Chilton and Marcus Ericsson.

  91. 09:01: 

    Kevin Magnussen goes 12th while McLaren team-mate Jenson Button drags himself out of the drop zone by clocking the 15th fastest time.

  92.  
    TEAM RADIO

    Daniel Ricciardo's race engineer: "Expect the weather to stay the same until the end of the session."

  93. 09:00: 

    Adrian Sutil, Jules Bianchi, Jenson Button, Kamui Kobayashi, Max Chilton and Marcus Ericsson are currently in the drop zone with eight minutes remaining.

  94.   
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "It's quite an early message from Lotus about the rain. Looking out of the commentary box the rain's not a lot harder... and we're right in the centre of the circuit."

  95. 08:58: 

    Sebastian Vettel is told they have a problem with the anti-stall and that they are going to try and reset the system.

  96.  
    TEAM RADIO

    Romain Grosjean's race engineer: "Rain is getting heavier."

  97. 08:57: 

    Lewis Hamilton goes quicker on his second timed lap, but he still can't beat Nico Rosberg. The gap is just 0.019 seconds, though.

    Daniel Ricciardo is third, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean.

  98.  
    TEAM RADIO

    Sebastian Vettel's race engineer: "Box Sebastian, problem with the car."

  99. 08:56: 

    Daniel Ricciardo goes third on his first run, still 1.7 seconds off the pace, while his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel can only manage seventh.

  100. 08:55: 

    Fernando Alonso goes second, three seconds off the pace, with Felipe Massa fourth and Sergio Perez fifth.

  101. 08:54: 
    Malaysian GP

    Lewis Hamilton clocks a 1:57.309 to go quickest, but he's soon bumped down as his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg does a 1:57.309.

  102.  

    Caterham: Problem in the Pitlane exit for @Ericsson_Marcus but he's now fired up again and ready to go.

  103.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Liam Compton: Safety car is noisier than the F1 cars!

    Louis Suddaby: Sorry but if after a long delay they're going straight out on intermediates, the delay was too long.

  104. 08:53: 

    Lotus ask Pastor Maldonado about the conditions and whether he wants to change tyres. The Venezuelan replies that intermediate tyres, which he is on, are the way to go for now.

  105. 08:52: 

    Lewis Hamilton has the best visibility as he's the first car on track. The Mercedes driver crosses the line to start his first flying lap.

  106. 08:51: 

    The conditions look OK. There isn't much standing water, but there is plenty of spray.

  107. 08:50: 
    FIRST QUALIFYING STARTS

    It's go, go, go for qualifying! Lewis Hamilton leads the field away but Marcus Ericsson looks like he's stalled, so those behind him have to weave around the stricken Caterham.

  108. 08:49: 

    Lewis Hamilton's race engineer informs him that the team do expect rain so "make your first lap time representative".

  109. 08:48: 

    The two Mercedes cars have sat there for one minute. They've still got two minutes to wait.

  110.   
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "If there's standing water then you need extreme wet tyres. But if there's not, intermediates may suffice. There's so much heat on the track that, despite all that water, it'll evaporate quite quickly."

  111. 08:47: 

    Mercedes have headed out first, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crawling down the pit lane and lining up at the exit. Both have chosen the intermediate tyres.

  112. 08:45: 
    QUALIFYING TO START IN FIVE MINUTES

    Confirmation: Qualifying will start at 08:50 GMT.

  113.  

    Marussia: The humidity is running at a deeply unpleasant 95%. Air 25, Track 34.

  114. 08:42: 

    We're looking good for an 08:50 GMT start for qualifying...

  115. 08:40: 
    Malaysian GP

    Red Bull's reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel is suiting up and getting ready to head out on track. This is encouraging...

  116. 08:39: 

    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, talking on 5 live sports extra: "We know the water evaporates very quickly here once a couple of cars go around the track."

    On the fuel-flow sensor issue: "We don't believe we broke regulations - and I hope to demonstrate that [at the hearing]. It's disappointing, especially to still be unsure of the result five hours after the race - but new rules are always going to be unsettling. Hopefully we will have sensors that work [for this race]."

  117. 08:37: 
    QUALIFYING DELAYED AGAIN

    Qualifying has been delayed by a further five minutes, but you can see the sun starting to break through in patches. We've got a new estimated start time of 08:50 GMT.

  118.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "White shirt in the monsoon?" @nico_rosberg wags his finger at @suziperry as she tries to interview Toto Wolff.

  119. 08:36: 
    Sauber mechanics

    Team mechanics have got their air blowers out and are attempting to dry the pit boxes ahead of qualifying.

  120.   
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Yesterday there was a huge downpour but within 12 minutes of it stopping the track was ready. So hopefully we're not too far away now."

  121. 08:35: 
    WEATHER UPDATE

    At last, it's stopped raining!

  122. 08:33: 

    Williams development driver Susie Wolff, talking to Lee McKenzie: "It's warm rain, not quite as bad as the cold rain you get back home. But it's unfortunate - we definitely wanted a dry qualifying session.

    "The atmosphere in the team has been good ever since winter testing. We want to capitalise early on this season, while other teams try to catch up, and we're aiming for points this weekend.

    "Felipe Massa is a very nice guy, he brings along a buzz and he has lifted the team."

  123.  

    Mercedes: Rain intensity has definitely started to ease down in pit lane: fingers crossed we'll be brining you some #F1 action soon...

  124. 08:29: 

    McLaren chief operating officer Jonathan Neale, speaking to Tom Clarkson: "We believe we have got to the bottom of the issues but until we get out on the track we won't know because some things you can only test when you're out on the circuit. It's very easy in these conditions to end up with a control systems problem, which we believe we have, but we'll find out soon."

  125.  
    Michael Laudrup and Kevin Magnussen

    McLaren: Danish footballing ace Michael Laudrup chats with fellow countryman @KevinMagnussen.

  126. 08:26: 

    Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn, speaking to Lee McKenzie: "This weather happens every year, but look at previous years and the rain fell for only about half an hour, then we could get on with qualifying. This is just unbelievable today."

  127. 08:22: 

    The safety car has headed out to assess the conditions. The rear end of the Mercedes is sliding all over the place as it splashes through the puddles.

    Malaysian GP
  128. 08:21: 
    QUALIFYING DELAYED AGAIN

    It's still raining. A lot. So we've got another 15-minute delay to the start of qualifying. The session will not start until 08:45 GMT at the earliest.

  129. 08:20: 

    Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery, speaking to Tom Clarkson: "This is very, very heavy rain. I suspect when the safety car goes out they'll find it's still too heavy. But this track dries very quickly - if it stops we'll be ready to go in 20 minutes."

  130. 08:18: 

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, speaking to Lee McKenzie: "This weather changes everything really, but it's the same for everyone. The pack are closing up behind Mercedes, but they have still got quite an advantage.

    "But we're making progress and we're working hard on things, and we know where we've got to improve - the bit between the corners. But this rain levels things out a bit.

    "Things move very, very quickly in Formula 1. We just need to find a bit more performance down the straights, but it will take a bit of time. And in that time we've got to make sure Mercedes don't get to far ahead."

  131. 08:15: 
    CELEB SPOT
    Malaysian GP

    Dutch footballing legend and ex-Chelsea manager Ruud Guillt is in the Ferrari garage. He tells BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow he feels sorry for beleaguered Man Utd manager David Moyes, and that Louis Van Gaal's rumoured appointment as the new Tottenham manager is "a done deal".

  132. 08:12: 

    The bad news is, the rain is showing no signs of abating. Will qualifying be delayed until tomorrow as it was in Australia last year? I do hope not.

  133. 08:10: 

    Don't forget that as well as coverage on BBC One, you can listen to the dulcet tones of James Allen, Allan McNish and Jennie Gow on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  134. 08:05: 
    QUALIFYING DELAYED AGAIN

    You won't be surprised to hear that qualifying has been delayed by a further 15 minutes as it continues to tip it down. Qualifying will not start before 08:30 GMT.

  135. 08:00: 

    If you're just tuning in and were expecting to see cars on track, I can tell you that qualifying has been delayed because of heavy rain which has flooded the track.

  136. 07:57: 

    Lewis Hamilton heads out of the Mercedes hospitality unit with an umbrella and strolls over to the garage. He doesn't look like he's in any rush...

  137.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Mike Hassell: The cars will certainly be more lively in this rain. Smoother drivers are surely going to benefit with these twitchy cars.

    Amanda: It will be interesting to see how the rookies get on driving in the rain. It will separate the men from the boys as they say!

  138. 07:54: 

    Luckily, there's a brilliant feature with Mark Webber discussing how F1 drivers deal with heat. You can watch a teaser to the film here. "There are several drivers who take (heat preparation) very seriously and several who don't," says Webber. "It's easy to see which."

  139. 07:52: 
    QUALIFYING DELAYED

    Qualifying has been delayed by 15 minutes because of heavy rain. No shock there.

  140. 07:51: 

    Mercedes will be disappointed with the weather as they were one second clear in dry conditions. Williams won't be too happy either as their car lacks downforce in the wet. It's good news for teams like Lotus who have been way off the pace in the dry - rain in F1 always closes the performance gap between teams.

  141.  

    Marussia: "It's just a few spots" says an unruffled @maxchilton as he heads to the garage for qualifying.

  142.  

    Force India: Nearly considering swapping qualifying for powerboating...

  143.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Rhys Carter: It'll make qualifying more exciting and unpredictable, not that is wasn't already given all the rule changes.

    Alex Ratford: @therealdcf1 is the master of emergency brolly opening

  144. 07:46: 

    Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey, speaking to Tom Clarkson: "We welcome this rain, probably. Our straight line speed is not very strong so these conditions probably suit us. The car also had a good outing in the wet in Melbourne. But if the rains stays as heavy as this it'll probably delay qualifying."

    Newey added: "On cornering speeds the car seems to be very competitive on all the GPS overlays we do. But this is very much an engine formula so we are in the hands of our engine supplier."

  145. 07:42: 

    Sebastian Vettel has been on pole in Malaysian in two of the last three seasons, with Lewis Hamilton taking P1 in between in 2012.

  146. 07:40: 
    Malaysian GP

    Just 20 minutes until the start of qualifying and it's still absolutely tipping it down. We've got flooding in the paddock, with the pressure of the water even forcing the manhole covers to bounce up and down.

  147.  
    Malaysian GP

    Force India: The clouds that looked so threatening in FP3 have now officially opened the taps. Raining heavily in the paddock!

  148. 07:35: 

    McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen, who finished second on his debut in Australia last time out, speaking to Lee McKenzie: "I'm here to be the best. I don't mean that in an arrogant way, I understand how big a challenge that is; these guys are the best in the world.

    "There is so much you need to learn in F1 but my goal is to become world champion. I know how big a challenge that is but that's what I'm going for. If you believe you are the best, you will achieve what you want."

  149. 07:31: 

    Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, speaking to David Coulthard: "We'll keep an eye on the weather but we'll look at this as an opportunity to gain some positions on the grid. If we get everything right I'm hoping to get into Q3 again."

  150.  

    BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson: Further shower cells firing-up within 10km ENE of circuit. Frankly, anything cld happen weather-wise by quali.

  151. 07:28: 
    WEATHER UPDATE
    Sepang pit-lane

    The rain looked to be easing off, but the intensity has just increased dramatically. If this continues, qualifying could be delayed.

  152.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Roseanne: Rain, unpredictable cars! Oh this is going to be a great qualifying. Will it top last year I wonder?

    Danny Bell: Malaysia wouldn't be the same without rain.

  153.   
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "We had a huge downpour yesterday afternoon with thunder and lightening. A session that was running was red flagged but it took about 15 minutes to clear up. These cars should be able to go out on full wets, as long as there's no running water. There is quite a lot of undulation on this track. This is quite a start to the grand prix season!"

  154.  

    Williams: Rain expected to stop before qualifying but the track unlikely to dry out for the start...

  155. 07:23: 
    Claire Williams and Suzi Perry

    Williams deputy team principal Clare Williams, speaking to Suzi Perry and Allan McNish: "I hope this rain clears in time for qualifying - to get this weather out of the way would be great. I'd love to get both our cars into the top 10 today. It's going to be tricky for everybody, and it'll be a case of managing strategies.

    "We have some great people who are working at Williams, and we've also brought some great people in, headed up by Pat Symonds. There's a really nice atmosphere within the team, and this year there has been an upsurge. And both our drivers are doing a great job, they're such nice guys."

  156. 07:19: 
    WEATHER UPDATE
    Malaysian GP

    It's now chucking it down monsoon-style...

  157.   
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "The noise of the new cars is very different, but this is what we have whether we like it or not. I prefer loud noises as it's what I grew up with, but this is a step towards the future."

  158. 07:17: 

    There has been a lot of discussion about the sound of the new V6 1.6-litre turbo engines which sound like glorified vacuum cleaners. Here's David Coulthard's thoughts on the debate...

  159. 07:15: 

    McLaren only managed nine laps in final practice this morning and there was a fear they might not be able to take part in qualifying because of a sensor problem on their power unit. However, BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane report Jennie Gow reports that the team will take part.

  160.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Catherine Benham: Not usually up this early even on a weekday but so ready for qualifying!

    Conor Mansell: Hoping it's another weekend where the underdogs shine and snap at heels of big boys. Would love to see Massa shine.

    Peter Slack: Hulkenberg always is there or thereabouts but never quite gets to challenge for a win. Will that change anytime soon?

    Seth: Love a wet qualy - can't remember ever seeing a dry race in Malaysia.

  161. 07:13: 
    WEATHER UPDATE

    It's raining harder. Much harder.

  162. 07:11: 

    So here's how today is going to work. Qualifying will be split into three sections. The first will last 18 minutes and see the slowest six drivers knocked out. A further six will be eliminated after a second session lasting 15 minutes. That leaves 10 to fight it out for pole in a 12-minute session.

  163.   
    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "The only way to train for this heat is to put your body in the stress levels you'll experience inside the car. You have to get water on your face as you can't cool yourself down or sweat, because of the humidity."

  164. 07:09: 

    It's pretty hot and sticky in Malaysia, too. Temperatures are hovering around the 31C mark.

  165. 07:07: 

    It's raining at Sepang. That is all.

  166. 07:05: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Straight after the qualifying session show has finished on BBC One at 09:30 GMT, you will be able to ask David Coulthard for his thoughts on the new season, his views on the engine noise and the 2014 rule changes. Go to the BBC Sport Facebook page to post your question.

  167. 07:00: 

    The Chain rings out on BBC One to signal the start of the qualifying show, with Suzi Perry your host and David Coulthard alongside.

  168. 06:57: 

    Hello everybody and welcome to the highlight of your Saturday - qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.

  169. 06:55: 

    Are you ready for the battle of the Mercedes?

  170. 06:20: 
    Jenson Button

    Will McLaren, who lead the constructors' championship after one race, sort out their hardware problems in time to get the cars out for qualifying? Join me in 35 minutes to find out.

    The live text resumes at 06:55 GMT, with BBC One joining the party at 07:00. The one-hour qualifying session starts at 08:00. See you in a bit.

  171. 06:15: 
    FINAL PRACTICE RESULTS

    1) Rosberg 2) Hamilton 3) Raikkonen 4) Vettel 5) Hulkenberg 6) Ricciardo 7) Alonso 8) Massa 9) Bottas 10) Perez 11) Kvyat

    12) Vergne 13) Sutil 14) Gutierrez 15) Grosjean 16) Maldonado 17) Chilton 18) Bianchi 19) Ericsson 20) Kobayashi 21) Button 22) Magnussen

  172. 06:10: 
    SESSION IN 60 WORDS

    Mercedes look unbeatable, while Ferrari are much improved. Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel is very much in the mix, while Nico Hulkenberg impresses for Force India.

    Lotus manage some running, but the rear end of the car is a "disaster" (R Grosjean, Malaysia 2014). McLaren ould be a doubt for qualifying after an engine sensor limits running in third practice.

  173.  

    Lotus: 'Disaster' is French for 'we have some improvements to make' when referring to rear end aero performance @RGrosjean.

  174.  

    Lotus: We didn't set the time sheets alight in #FP3. Fortunately we didn't set the cars alight either.

  175. 06:05: 

    Lotus are in good form on Twitter, as ever, as the team struggle for speed out on track. They completed 36 laps in total, which is encouraging, but Romain Grosjean was less than complementary about the car's performance.

  176.   
    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "I wonder if Mercedes have shown too much of their hand. The drivers had some fun but you don't want to show you have that much speed until qualifying.

    "This is a different race track, a more traditional circuit that Australia. In the middle sector Mercedes don't have any advantage at all but they are taking a massive chunk in the first and third sectors."

  177. 06:02: 

    It looks like it will be a battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg for pole position today. Lewis Hamilton grabbed P1 in Australia, but Rosberg has had the upper hand so far this weekend.

  178. 06:00: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG
    Nico Rosberg

    Mercedes' driver Nico Rosberg finishes fastest in third and final practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  179.  
    TEAM RADIO
    Malaysian GP

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean: "There is no performance from the diffuser. The rear end is a disaster."

  180. 05:59: 

    Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel pops in fourth, 1.379 seconds off the pace.

  181. 05:58: 

    Pastor Maldonado has completed 20 laps - more than anyone else. His Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean gets it all wrong at Turn 11 and runs off track, bouncing across the gravel before rejoining.

  182. 05:55: 

    Mercedes do three back-to-back pit stops before calling it a day with five minutes of the session to go. The Brackley-based team will very much be the team to beat in qualifying.

  183. 05:54: 

    McLaren have managed just eight laps in this session with Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button losing valuable time as the time battle to rectify a sensor problem on their power unit.

  184. 05:50: 

    Great lap from Nico Hulkenberg who goes fourth for Force India on his medium tyre run. The German is 1.5 seconds off the pace but half a second quicker than team-mate Sergio Perez.

  185.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Abraham: Come on Hamilton let's get done with this! Pole position again.

    Louis Venter: Mercedes really looking like the team to beat.

  186.  
    Marussia

    Marussia: Almost got you!

  187. 05:45: 

    Lewis Hamilton can't match his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg's time and goes second, two tenths off the pace on his medium tyre run after locking up during that lap.

  188. 05:44: 

    Nico Rosberg goes quickest with a 1:39.008 on the medium tyres, 1.1 seconds quicker than Kimi Raikkonen.

  189.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Andrea: So...looks like Mercedes is about a second faster than everyone else. Can't say I hate that ;)

    Josh: Purposely messed my body clock up so I don't miss #bbcf1 this weekend, completely worth it!

    Gavin: Ricciardo has a great sense of humour! Hope he does well this season.

  190. 05:43: 

    What is going on with McLaren? The team lead the constructors' championship having finished second and third in Australia but they currently sit bottom of the timesheets in this session. Jenson Button hasn't clocked a representative lap time while Kevin Magnussen hasn't managed any sort of lap time.

  191. 05:42: 

    Kimi Raikkonen goes fastest. Good lap from the Finn who has had the edge over his double world champion Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso all weekend.

  192. 05:41: 

    Fernando Alonso goes second, nearly two tenths slower than Lewis Hamilton. That just shows how much of an advantage Mercedes have over everyone else.

  193.  

    Mercedes: Half time in #FP3: both cars in for tweaks and a switch to medium tyres. @LewisHamilton currently just edging @nico_rosberg in the times #F1

  194. 05:39: 

    Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso bolt on the medium tyres and head out for their qualifying simulation...

  195.  

    Lotus: Talk on the radio about corner entry AND exit. Definite progress today.

  196. 05:36: 

    Pastor Maldonado fits the option medium tyres, but makes hash of it down at Turn Four and runs well off track. He then pushes too hard at at Turn One, sliding off into the gravel before recovering to the track. It's not going so well for the Venezuelan, but at least the Lotus seems to be running reliably for a change.

  197.   
    BBC F1 analyst Allan McNish

    On Hamilton having his seat changed: "You need to be completely tight and secure in the car. You need to be in tune with what the car is doing, and you need to have total control. That is critical. The time spent on making the seat is time very, very well spent."

  198. 05:33: 
    Pit lane

    The Red Bull garage is proving popular among Formula 1 photographers, as you can see from this photo taken from the BBC Radio 5 live commentary box. Daniel Ricciardo is fourth fastest, 1.5 seconds off the pace, with Sebastian Vettel seventh, a further three tenths adrift.

  199. 05:31: 

    Lewis Hamilton reclaims spot with a 1:40.552, four tenths quicker than Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg with Kimi Raikkonen third and Daniel Ricciardo fourth.

  200. 05:28: 

    It seems Kevin Magnussen's engine problem is a repeat of the one he suffered yesterday when a sensor on his power unit detected overheating and went into 'limp' mode as a protective measure.

  201.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Stuart Slyper: I keep increasing the volume on my TV expecting to hear the cars but to no avail. Exciting looking season none the less.

    Seth: Love hearing the tyres squealing and the drifting with the new cars - leave 'em alone Bernie!

  202. 05:27: 

    Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff, speaking to BBC F1 pit lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "You don't know what weights people are running on - it's always difficult to make judgements about the other teams. But we've been running our normal programme.

    "I have known Nico Rosberg a year and there's been no change in him - he's professional, down-to-earth and diligent. Lewis Hamilton hasn't changed either - he's very upbeat about the performance of the car. He's motivated, and in a good place."

  203. 05:25: 

    Nico Rosberg usurps his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the top of the charts with a 1:40.946, three tenths clear. Hamilton, meanwhile, tells his engineer on team radio that he wants to talk about his seat when he gets back to the pits.

  204.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "A central point in Red Bull's argument for ignoring the FIA's advice on Daniel Ricciardo's fuel usage in Australia is that, quite apart from the fact they did not trust the sensor, there is nothing in the regulations stating the fuel-flow rate must be measured by the sensor. This, they say, only comes in a technical directive which does not amount to a regulation.

    "But in a briefing on Friday, FIA race director Charlie Whiting pointed journalists to article 5.10.3 of the technical regulations, which says: 'Homologated sensors must be fitted which directly measure the pressure, the temperature and the flow of the fuel supplied to the injectors, these signals must be supplied to the FIA data logger.' Whiting said this 'makes it quite clear in my view that the only way the fuel flow will be measured is with the homologated sensor.'"

  205. 05:22: 

    Both Red Bulls are in the garage, with neither having set a lap time.

  206. 05:21: 

    Lewis Hamilton goes fastest with a 1:41.246, six tenths quicker than Kimi Raikkonen, with Valtteri Bottas third in the Williams.

  207.  

    Lotus: A little off at T8 for @Pastormaldo clearly surprised: a) the car made it that far, b) it was running at speed

  208. 05:20: 

    McLaren's Kevin Magnussen has slowed to a crawl as he bids to make it back to the pits. The Danish rookie, who finished an impressive second on his debut in Australia, has yet to complete a flying lap today.

  209.  
    TEAM RADIO

    McLaren's Kevin Magnussen: "I've got a problem with the engine - low power."

  210.  
    Sepang

    Force India: A look to the skies reveals some heavy-looking clouds...

  211.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "In among all the chat about turbo engines, fuel flow, the lack of noise, reliability and so on, you might have thought that the old chestnut of Pirelli tyre degradation had gone away. That was certainly Pirelli's intention when it designed harder tyres to meet the higher torque demands of this year's new engines. But you know what they say about best-laid plans. The heat and demanding long corners at Sepang are putting even these tougher tyres through the mill. 'There is a lot of degradation, even on the hard tyre,' Nico Rosberg said, "which we didn't really expect.'"

  212.  
    TEAM RADIO

    Caterham's Marcus Ericsson: "It's very, very low grip out here - especially rear."

  213. 05:17: 

    Williams' Felipe Massa moves to the top of the charts with a 1:42.855, 0.858 seconds quicker than the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.

  214.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Lianne: Benedict Cumberbatch at F1...how's a girl supposed to concentrate on the practice.

    Sufiyan: I am loving the fact that Vettel hasn't enjoyed much success till now. It's always nice to see someone new at the top.

    Clive Gibson: Another hot and humid day at Sepang F1. Rained in KL around 4-5pm on each of last three days. Could be a wet weekend.

  215. 05:16: 

    Cumberbatch, who will play Hamlet on stage next year, added: "I was talking to Nico Rosberg about his prep earlier, wearing cool packs and sitting under umbrellas. We sometimes train in acting - every field is competitive.

    "In Star Trek I had to beef up. So it's always interesting to meet athletes and understand their discipline and they are exceptional. They have to be exceptionally fit. They hit the gym, even on race days, which I find very interesting."

  216. 05:15: 
    Malaysian GP

    Sherlock and Star Trek actor Benedict Cumberbatch speaking to BBC Radio 5 live pit lane reporter Jennie Gow: "I went to Silverstone once when I was very young. F1 is still utterly thrilling. It feels like you're on another planet with alien spacecraft landing at your feet. The drivers have such a presence.

    "It's pretty loud down here, though I'm not wearing earplugs and this time last year I would have had to. But F1 has never rested on its laurels - it's continued to evolve. It's a thrill that there's a new added element of how to get the engine ratio right. It's exciting for the sport, plus I understand that here the race could be very exciting with the weather. It could rain tomorrow, in this heat."

  217. 05:12: 

    We've got our first time on the board - a 1:49.882 from Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado. The Venezuelan made a mistake, running off track, but kept it out of the gravel, so expect him to improve.

  218.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Friday was another difficult day for Lotus, their 12th consecutive such one at a race track since the appearance of their new car, late, at the second pre-season test. Pastor Maldonado failed to set a lap time all day following engine problems, while Romain Grosjean did, but was a long way off the pace. The frustration is beginning to show in both drivers. 'We had so many problems,' said Maldonado, who also has to cope with the knowledge that he forced the termination of his contract with Williams two years early to join Lotus this season, and his former team have taken a big leap forward in competitiveness. 'It is the way it is,' he said, before adding: 'It is quite difficult to accept.'"

  219. 05:08: 

    Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo have now popped out for their installation laps, which means we've seen every car within the first eight minutes of this session.

  220. 05:05: 

    Installation laps are the order of the day early in this session. Everyone has been out and about apart from the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel.

  221.  

    BBC F1 pit lane reporter Tom Clarkson: There has been a last-minute front wing change on Sebastian Vettel's front wing. The slot gaps at the front are much further apart.

  222.   
    Jennie Gow, BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    We've found out the cause of Lewis Hamilton's retirement in Australia - a hairline split in a tiny little rubber tube that holds the spark plug.

  223. 05:00: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    Marcus Ericsson is the first man out on track, with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Lotus' Pastor Maldonado following the Caterham out.

  224. 04:58: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    Drivers are paying tribute to the passengers on the missing flight MH370 at Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix by carrying messages on their cars and helmets - as pictured here on Sebastian Vettel's lid.

    There will also be a minute's silence before the race. The plane, travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared on 8 March and is thought to have crashed with the loss of all 239 people on board.

  225.  

    Caterham: Friday night update: the boys worked until about 0230 fixing the problems from Friday and preparing for FP3 and qualifying. So we're as prepared as we can be for today's sessions.

  226. 04:55: 

    We're live on BBC Two and in the video console at the top of this page. Lee McKenzie is your host, with Jennie Gow and Tom Clarkson in the pit lane. Ben Edwards and Allan McNish are your commentary team.

  227.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:
    Jenson Button

    "McLaren arrived in Malaysia with a lot to live up to - chairman Ron Dennis had claimed in Australia that an upgrade to the car would be worth 0.5 seconds a lap. The upgrade is obvious - a reshaped front nose - but the performance improvement less so. 'We're very weak in high-speed corners so a lot of work is needed,' Jenson Button said after Friday practice. 'Hopefully the weekend is going to be cooler than today. It is supposed to be and I think we need it to be relatively competitive. We found it tough on the long run. We don't have the pace right now, which is a surprise, actually.'"

  228.  

    Caterham: FP3 weather update: air / track temps 33C / 54C, around 30% chance of rain and light winds. Quali weather: 32C air temp, 37C track temp and around 35% chance of rain.

  229. 04:52: 
    Nico Rosberg and Lee McKenzie

    On Sunday, you can see a cool feature with Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg who explains the physics of Formula 1's new turbo engines to Lee McKenzie using a frying pan and a hairdryer. Click here for a teaser.

  230.  

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas after finishing ninth fastest in Friday practice: OK practice day overall for us, plenty of room for improvements still. Tyre drop off seems high for all. Let's see what Saturday brings! #77

  231.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:
    Kimi Raikkonen

    "Kimi Raikkonen cut a somewhat forlorn figure in Australia two weeks ago, well off Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso's pace and admitting to being uncomfortable with the car. In Malaysia, though, he has found a balance he is happier with. He was quicker than Alonso in both sessions, although each time there were mitigating circumstances for the Spaniard, who was a fraction faster on the race runs. Who will come out on top in qualifying?"

  232.  

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean after finishing 17th fastest in Friday practice: Some good points, some less good and a lot of positive stuff to think about...

  233. 04:48: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Now if you've gone to all the effort of waking up for final practice, why not help pass the time by getting involved in this very live text. What do you think of the new rules and the sound of the engines?

    Are you enjoying the fact that someone other than Sebastian Vettel is racing around at the front? Does it excite you that the top seven in Friday practice were separated by just four tenths of a second? And how do you think the less experienced drivers will perform this season?

    Tweet us @bbcf1 using the #bbcf1 hashtag, text 81111 (UK only) or leave a comment on the BBC Sport Facebook page. Also head to our Instagram account to check out some behind the scenes photos during the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  234. 04:45: 
    Mark Webber

    The qualifying show starts on BBC One at 07:00 GMT and features a special piece where Mark Webber meets Dr Simon Sostaric to talk about the pill that drivers take to measure their core temperature during hot F1 races. You can watch a teaser here.

  235.  

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on Facebook: The car feels good and our focus was on trying to understand the tyres and make sure the balance is right for the weekend. There are areas where we can improve so we're keeping focused on our own work, rather than being distracted by what the others are doing.

  236.  

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg on Facebook: The cars are on the edge and the tyre degradation was higher than expected on Friday - we are sliding a bit more this year, perhaps because of the reduced downforce levels. The quickest teams seem to be closer together than in Australia, so we still have work to do to improve our level of performance.

  237.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Mercedes again looked the team to beat in Friday practice, with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg occupying top spot in P1 and P2 and looking strong on both single-lap and race pace. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was second in both sessions, but the Italian team are not expecting to stay there when it counts. Sebastian Vettel looks to be Mercedes' biggest threat - although the world champion was the best part of half a second a lap slower on the race runs, and that with Mercedes managing some unspecified problems that in Rosberg's words meant they were 'not able to maximise everything'."

  238. 04:40: 

    Today, drivers will get one hour to dance their cars around this 15-turn Hermann Tilke-designed track before beginning their quest for pole position in qualifying. Final practice starts at 05:00 GMT, with qualifying following at 08:00. Lee McKenzie will be live on BBC Two with moving pictures from Malaysia at 04:55 with BBC Radio 5 live sports extra also on air.

  239. 04:36: 
    Kimi Raikkonen

    The Sepang venue, which hosted it's first grand prix in 1999, was built on the site of a former oil palm plantation. The large sweeping canopies above the grandstands are a nod to this. An impressive 5,000 palm trees - planted replace those removed during the construction - surround the 5.543km track.

  240.  

    McLaren's Jenson Button's physio Michael Collier: Morning run for @JensonButton with pre and post weight measurements to guide hydration strategies, taking driver weight loss to the extreme.

  241.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "It was inevitable, really, but this race weekend was always likely to be dominated by the Red Bull fuel-sensor controversy, and so it has proved. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has been pushing an agenda that questions not only the efficacy of the critical fuel-flow sensors but also the maximum fuel-flow regulation itself. Others accuse him of politicking and shameless pursuit of his own ends. As is common practice for team bosses in F1. This is the backdrop to a race where Red Bull appear to have emerged as Mercedes' closest rivals. It's all getting a bit tasty, in typical F1 style."

  242. 04:33: 

    Morning all and welcome to our live coverage of final practice - followed by qualifying - for the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit, just 37 miles from the capital Kuala Lumpur.

  243. 04:30: 
    Nico Rosberg

    Come Sunday night, Mercedes should be celebrating their second successive victory of the season. The team were the form outfit in pre-season testing, the ones to beat in Australia - as Nico Rosberg took victory - and dominant in Malaysia on Friday as Lewis Hamilton topped the times in first practice before Rosberg followed suit in the second session.

    But this is Formula 1 and we're at the start of a season that features the biggest rule changes in a generation. Nothing is a foregone conclusion.

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Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 220
2 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 191
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 156
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari 119
5 Finland V Bottas Williams 110
6 Germany S Vettel Red Bull 98
7 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 69
8 Great Britain J Button McLaren 66
9 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren 45
10 Brazil F Massa Williams 40
11 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 39
12 Mexico S Perez Force India 31
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso 11
14 France R Grosjean Lotus 8
15 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 7
16 France J Bianchi Marussia 2
17 Germany A Sutil Sauber 0
18 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham 0
19 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber 0
21 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia 0
23 A Lotterer Caterham 0

Results

After 44 of 44 laps
Position Driver Team

Race completed

1 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
2 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes
3 Finland V Bottas Williams
4 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
5 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
6 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
7 Great Britain J Button McLaren
8 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
9 Mexico S Perez Force India
10 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
11 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
12 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
13 Brazil F Massa Williams
14 Germany A Sutil Sauber
15 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber
16 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
17 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
18 France J Bianchi (ret.) Marussia
19 Great Britain L Hamilton (ret.) Mercedes
20 France R Grosjean (ret.) Lotus
21 Venezuela P Maldonado (ret.) Lotus
22 A Lotterer (ret.) Caterham

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