The 2013 Malaysian GP preview: Everything you need to know about Sunday's race!

From the track guide, to essential stats, tyres, odds and more!

Last Updated: 21/03/13 1:08pm

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Ice Racing with Kimi

After a thrilling start to the season, Formula 1 moves north to Malaysia to arguably the best of the Hermann Tilke-designed tracks - The Sepang International Circuit.

Since joining the F1 calendar in 1999, this race has thrown up a number of classics - particularly since it adopted a late-afternoon timeslot, meaning heavy rain is always a possibility given the country's tropical climate.

Sky Sports Online provides your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the season-opening grand prix weekend, from Anthony Davidson's corner-by-corner video lap, to the Sepang formbook and, of course, details of Sky Sports F1's exclusively live TV coverage.

THE 2013 MALAYSIAN GP IN A NUTSHELL
Track: Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur. Permanent circuit.

Race start time: 8am UK time Sunday (4pm local).

Laps: 56.

Welcome to Malaysia

Track length: 3.4 miles.

DRS Zones: Two (Pit Straight and between Turns 14 and 15) and two detection zones (Exit of final turn and between Turns 12 and 13).

Driver steward: Derek Warwick

Lap record: J P Montoya - 1:34.223 (BMW Williams; 2004).

2012 pole: Lewis Hamilton - 1:36.219 (McLaren).

SKY SPORTS F1's SCHEDULE

Tuesday March 19
7:30pm - F1 Classic Races - Malaysia 1999.
9:45pm - F1 Classic Races - Malaysia 2002.

Wednesday March 20
7:30pm - F1 Classic Races - Malaysia 2003.
9:45pm - F1 Classic Races - Malaysia 2007.

Thursday March 21
7am - Drivers' Press Conference - Live!
4:15pm - Drivers' Press Conference Replay.
6pm - Gear up for Malaysia.
8pm - F1 Classic Races - Malaysia 2010.

Friday March 22
1:45am - Malaysian GP Practice One - Live!
3:50am - GP2 Practice - Live!
5.45am - Malaysian GP Practice Two - Live!
7:50am - GP2 Qualifying - Live!
9am - Team Principals' Press Conference - Live!
10am - The F1 Show (also simulcast on Sky 1).
11am - F1 Classic Races - Malaysia 1999.
1.30pm - Malaysian GP Practice One Replay.
3.35pm - Malaysian GP Practice Two Replay.
5:45pm - F1 Classic Races - Malaysia 2002.

Saturday March 23
3:10am - GP2 Malaysia Feature Race - Live!
4.45am - Malaysia GP Practice Three - Live!
7am - Malaysian GP Qualifying - Live!
9.45am - F1 Classic Races - Malaysia 2003.
1pm - Malaysian GP Qualifying Replay.
4.45pm - F1 Classic Races - Malaysia 2007.

Sunday March 24
4:10am - GP2 Malaysia Sprint Race - Live!
6:30am - The 2013 Malaysian GP - Live!
12pm - Malaysian GP Replay.
7pm - Malaysian GP Highlights.
8:30pm - Ted's Malaysian GP Notebook.

SKY SPORTS F1 HIGHLIGHTS
From Practice One in the early hours of Friday morning all the way through to the post-race reaction to Sunday's grand prix, Sky Sports F1 will be covering the entirety of the Malaysian GP weekend live and in full.

The F1 Show will follow hot on the heels of Practice Two on Friday morning and will feature reaction to both the day's running and an in-depth review of last week's Australian GP. Rachel Brookes will be with both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas as the two Williams drivers go downtown in Kuala Lumpur.

In our build-up to the all-important Qualifying hour, we'll hear from all of the main players at Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Ross Brawn and Toto Wolff visit the Petronas Towers and chat to us about their performance in Australia and the team's hopes for Malaysia. Plus, following his impressive comeback race in Australia, Adrian Sutil will join Martin Brundle for a track guide around the Sepang track and Nico Hulkenberg will tell us how he is settling in at Sauber.

On Sunday morning, our race programme will - as ever! - star Martin Brundle's famous grid walk, while, in an extra twist of added flavour, Natalie Pinkham will join the drivers on the Track Parade. We'll also have footage of Natalie's trip to Russia for the Ice Race in Moscow in which she took Kimi Raikkonen for a spin... And, just in case that's not enough, we'll also interview both Jenson Button and Sergio Perez about McLaren's tough start to the season.

So stay tuned, folks!

FORM GUIDE
Fernando Alonso's victories in 2005, 2007 and 2012 mean he is the most successful of the current drivers at the Sepang International Circuit (Michael Schumacher also has three wins to his name), whilst in the 14 years the event has been run, a Ferrari driver has stood atop the podium on six occasions.

Australia winner Kimi Raikkonen has won the Malaysian event twice, as has Sebastian Vettel, whilst Jenson Button is the only other of the 22 drivers to have tasted success at Sepang.

2012 result: 1. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari); 2. Sergio Perez (Sauber); 3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren); 4. Mark Webber (Red Bull); 5. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus); 6. Bruno Senna (Williams); 7. Paul Di Resta (Force India); 8. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso); 9. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India); 10. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes).

Last five winners: 2012: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari); 2011: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull); 2010: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull); 2009: Jenson Button (Brawn); 2008: Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari).

TYRE ALLOCATION
Pirelli have been as conservative as they can be in Malaysia - opting for the medium and hard compound tyres - thus eliminating the additional step we saw between compounds in Australia.

The white-banded medium tyres will be the 'option' tyre this weekend and the teams will hope they last longer than the supersofts did in Melbourne when the tyres were graining after one lap. In a change from 2012, the 'prime' hard tyres will have orange markings.

However, with Sunday's 4pm start, rain is always a possibility and it could be that the green-banded intermediates and blue-banded wets play the deciding role in the race.

KUALA LUMPUR ODDS
Despite slipping to third in Australia after starting at the very front of the grid, Sebastian Vettel is once again favourite for pole (6/5) and victory (2/1) in Malaysia with Sky Bet.

In the mood for a flutter? Well, here are some further selected Sky Bet odds for the opening weekend:

Pole position - Lewis Hamilton (6/1).
Race Winner - Kimi Raikkonen (4/1).
Podium Finish - Nico Hulkenberg (22/1).
Fastest Lap - Romain Grosjean (14/1).
Lap One Leader - Jenson Button (25/1).
First Retirement - Pastor Maldonado (10/1).
Race Winning Margin - Over 6 seconds (5/6).

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