Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur March 22-24, 2013

Total laps 56
Lap distance 5.543 km
Track Conditions Dry / 41C

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Partly cloudy

Free practice 1  March 22 - 10:00 local | 02:00 GMT
Free practice 2  March 22 - 14:00 local | 06:00 GMT
Free practice 3  March 23 - 13:00 local | 05:00 GMT

Qualifying  March 23 - 16:00 local | 08:00 GMT
Race  March 24 - 16:00 local | 08:00 GMT

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Hamilton takes a while to get out of his car. He will know Rosberg could have passed him and there's still a handshake between the two Mercedes drivers out of the car. Admittedly, that issues wasn't personal between the drivers but a team call. Whereas I sense Vettel ignored team orders to pass Webber.

It's a very quiet room with only Vettel and Newey talking. Hamilton looks unhappy, and there's no sign of Webber yet... here he comes... This is so tense. Vettel says "Mark...." and Webber sits down looking very angry. Webber is absolutely livid with his team-mate, saying something like "Multi 21, Seb. Multi 21." Any ideas? I believe it is team orders for hold station...

To add to the pain for Webber he has to stand on the podium while the German national anthem rings out for Vettel. I'll stick with you a little while longer for the reaction on the podium.

The trophies are held aloft and Hamilton thanks his team. This is the unhappiest podium I have seen in a long time. Vettel tries to talk to Webber on the way off the podium but it doesn't look good. They're meant to be interviewed now... and they're back. Brundle asking the questions. Here we go...

Vettel says "I probably was a little bit too keen too soon ... it's hot now and we should talk internally"

Webber: "After the last stop the team told me the race was over and we turned the engine down ... Seb made his own decision and we know he'll get protection"

Hamilton: "The team did a fantastic job ... to be honest I really feel Nico should be stood up here. He had the better pace today ... I can't say it's the best feeling being up here. [On the McLaren pit stop] I just did a Jenson!"

That is a ridiculously sombre podium. Off they all go, but make sure you don't go anywhere. We'll have all the reaction and I bet Laurence can't wait to get in to the driver press conference.

Dave emails in: "Bad day for Formula 1, the politics have always appeared just below the surface, but today they were the main feature"

I must admit this has split you all, and Hamilton seems unhappy to have had the benefit of team orders. It looks like letting the drivers race is what we all want to see, but having drivers hold station after the final stop is a very normal situation with the teams. This will run and run. Thanks for following and for all of your comments. The race might be over, but the story certainly isn't. See you for the Chinese Grand Prix! I wish it was tomorrow...

Lap 56

On to the last lap and Hamilton is asked for "Maximum fuel saving" on this lap. Rosberg is right behind him and could stroll past right now if he needed to but has so far obeyed the call.

Vettel's starting the final sector...


Something tells me there won't be handshakes between Webber and Vettel... Webber is second and Hamilton third with Rosberg right behind him.

Rocky on the radio to Vettel: "Great job Sebastian, it looked like you wanted it more. But still there'll be some explaining to do."

Webber is silent on his radio.

Ross Brawn walks back in to the Mercedes garage and probably needs to have a word with both his drivers as well. Hamilton's first podium for Mercedes. Brawn says on the radio "We'll discuss the last stint later" and Rosberg replies "Remember this one".

The drama isn't over... Vettel gets out of his car but Webber is already away from Parc Ferme. Vettel celebrates and then heads for the weighbridge...

Lap 55

Two laps to go and Vettel leads by 5.7s. Button retires from 12th place, while Hulkenberg passes Perez for 8th place and then pits. Perez needed new tyres. Perez had a huge gap on Vergne though so retains his ninth place.

Lap 54

Tony emails in: "Hi going by the commentary its seems Sebastian gained around 4 seconds to get right up behind mark, obviously he was faster do. you think it right that a team-mate should try to stop the faster one getting through, it seems the pass was inevitable was just a matter of time"

Similar to the Mercedes issue just then, Webber will have had a target lap time too. The gap at the front is now 4.6s. Massa passes Grosjean in to the final corner for fifth place.

Rosberg still complaining on the radio that Hamilton is too slow, but Brawn says: "Please drop back, there's a massive gap behind and nothing to gain in front. I want to bring these cars home"

Lap 53

Phil emails in to ask about fuel saving: "Since cars must not be below minimum weight at end of the race why do they not save a bit of weight elsewhere and carry a bit more fuel?"

Teams don't want to carry any extra weight! The fuel is always a bit lower in case it can be saved behind a safety car or in wet conditions.

Vettel told to think about brake bias as his front right tyre wear is bad. Webber takes 0.3s out of his lead... Ricciardo retires

Lap 52

Hearing Hamilton lift in to turns 14 and turn one, I'm not convinced he has the fuel to go faster. Vettel leads by four seconds.

Massa is flying on his new tyres. He's just 4.6s behind Grosjean and lapping two seconds a lap faster than everyone ahead of him

Full commentary: Race Qualifying Free practice 3 Free practice 2 Free practice 1