Lewis Hamilton
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton has given an emphatic note of support to Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone's plans of a Formula 1 race around the streets of London Reuters

The 2012 Formula 1 World Championship has gotten off to an entertaining start. After the drama of the opening race weekend of the season, in Melbourne, Australia, the teams are now in the sweltering tropical heat of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, for the Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix.

The race, for those in the UK, will be available via live stream on SkyGo. You can also follow the race live and get real-time information and feeds at the Formula One Web site. You can also follow the race, via text updates, at BBC Sport.

As for the race itself, there were, perhaps, some people left surprised by the very strong performance of the McLarens in Australia, where Hamilton and Button locked out the front row of the grid and stole away to a 1-3 in the race as well. Ferrari, meanwhile, carried on their disappointing pre-season form into the races, with a rather distant fifth (for Fernando Alonso) their best result. Defending champions Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team overcame a poor qualifying session (he started the race sixth) to split the McLarens at the chequered flag.

For the Malaysia Grand Prix, it is once again the McLarens at the head of the order, after they swept aside all challengers in Saturday's qualifying session. Meanwhile, the resurgent former multiple World Champion Michael Schumacher, who qualifies third, and his Mercedes continue with strong one-off laps but the car seems to struggle in race conditions and particularly in conserving its tires, something which will be crucial in the heat of Sepang. However, should it rain (and there is every chance) expect Schumacher - a master of wet driving - to pull out all the stops and go for something special. The Red Bulls of Vettel and his team mate Mark Webber do not seem to have the qualifying pace to match the McLarens but the defending constructor's champions still have more than enough to match the UK-based team over a race distance, as they demonstrated in Australia. Expect Vettel to make a strong start from another sixth place in qualifying. The joker in the front pack could very well be Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen. The former Ferrari driver is making his Formula 1 return this season and starts a strong fifth.

The other drivers in the top ten are Webber (4th), Romain Grosjean (7th), Nico Rosberg (8th), Fernando Alonso (9th) and Sergio Perez (10th).

Check out the results of all the Free Practice and re-live the qualifying session at the below links:

Free Practice 1

Free Practice 2

Free Practice 3


The race is scheduled to start 8 am GMT (4 pm local time). The weather forecast is for rain and thundershowers (60 percent) during the course of the race. The temperature is expected to be in the low-30s C (high-80s F).

Must Read: F1 Malaysia Grand Prix 2012: Alonso Wins Rain-Hit Race for Ferrari, Vettel and Button Fail to Score Points