In contrast to Q3 and Q2, Q1 was a dry affair, with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Valtteri Bottas joining the expected backmarkers in bowing out at the first hurdle, although the story of the session was Red Bull struggling for pace.
Neither Vettel or Webber had a comfortable 20 minutes, leaving it late before venturing out on track and then failing to extract decent pace from Pirelli's medium compound tyre. The pair were among six drivers to opt for the softer rubber but, unlike Sutil and Raikkonen, who led the timesheets, the RBR entries managed only 14th and eighth respectively, after taking two laps to set their marks.
Although Vettel slid towards the drop zone after abandoning his final attempt, he was prevented from making an awkward exit as both Vergne and Bottas had completed their runs. Neither was able to escape the bottom six, and joined Jules Bianchi, Charles Pic, Max Chilton and Giedo van der Garde on the sidelines for Q2.
Bianchi's performance was notable once again, as he lapped within a couple of tenths of the Williams driver. Hulkenberg also came perilously close to taking an early bath, but complained about being blocked by Perez on his flying lap.
To see the full times from qualifying for the F1 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix - CLICK HERE