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Rain continues at Malaysian GP

The gloomy prospects of a rain-lashed Malaysian Grand Prix refused to lift as the heavens opened over Kuala Lumpur for the 37th day in a row, only easing shortly before first practice

The weatherman's predictions did not lighten to mood with forecasts of cloud and rain through the morning and rain and the region's infamous thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Without exception it has rained every day between 2pm and 4pm since mid-September as Malaysia continued to be caught in the grip of the monsoon season.

But for Friday, the first practice day, the rain started well before dawn and lasted until a couple of hours before the cars went out at 11am [4am UK time].

The track - which has precious little rubber laid down - was still slippery and wet when the cars took to the track for the first time for the penultimate round of the world championship.

The muggy conditions continued with temperatures predicted to range between 24 and 30 degrees centigrade and humidity ranging up to 95 per cent.

The prospect of rain may not be welcomed by the teams, but it will be good news for the fans worldwide if it brings a repeat of the last round in which bursts of rain sparked the most exciting race in years.

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