With conditions worsening, the red flag was thrown on lap 25 just after Vettel had radioed to his team that conditions were too bad to allow the race to continue.
The best part of two hours had passed before conditions improved enough to allow the race to restart, again behind the Safety Car. The action got back underway on lap 35 with Vettel keeping his lead and Kobayashi doing well to hold off Massa through the first corner.
With conditions improving, most of the field dived in for intermediates but it would be only three laps before the Safety Car was back on track after Alonso and Button clashed going into turn three, with the Ferrari ending up beached on the kerb on the outside of the circuit. Button meanwhile returned to the pits for another pitstop having suffered a punctured left rear.
Vettel was able to make his stop under the Safety Car and keep the lead ahead of Kobayashi, Massa, Heidfeld, di Resta and Webber – with Button now at the back of the field after his latest unscheduled stop.
On the restart, Vettel again made the most of the clear track ahead to break away from Kobayashi as he came under more pressure from Massa, while Heidfeld in turn was being pushed hard by di Resta before the Force India man tagged the Renault at the final corner and damaged his nose – being forced to pit for a replacement and then picking up a drive-through penalty for the incident.
As well as Button from the rear of the field, one man on a move was Michael Schumacher, who has battled ahead of Mark Webber at the hairpin to climb into the top six on lap 42 and then took fifth when di Resta was forced to make his unscheduled stop to replace his nose. Schumacher then got ahead of Heidfeld for fourth just before the race director deemed the circuit to be dry enough to allow DRS to be enabled on the 46th lap.
As drivers started to pit for dry tyres, Schumacher suddenly found himself in second place after Kobayashi ran wide and delayed Massa behind him and by the 54th laps, the leaders had all moved onto slick tyres with Vettel leading from Schumacher, Mark Webber, Kobayashi and Button – Massa having dropped out of contention after hitting the wall while lapping a Hispania just after exiting the pits and needing to take on a replacement nose.
Button soon got ahead of Kobayashi into fourth place but the Safety Car then reappeared after Heidfeld ran into the rear of Kobayashi out of turn two and lost the nose of his Renault on the circuit – leaving debris littering the track. While under caution, one marshal was lucky to escape being hit after falling with cars coming towards him on track as he attempted to remove parts of the Renault from the circuit. Heidfeld was out as a result of the incident having run over the wing and gone into the wall before sliding down the escape road at turn three.
The race resumed for the final time with just nine laps remaining, with Schumacher taking a look at Vettel on the restart before being forced to defend from Webber and Button behind. On lap 63, Webber made the most of the first DRS zone to get ahead of Schumacher into the final chicane but then cut the corner and was forced to concede the position back to the German on the following lap while also ensuring that Button couldn't follow him through.
On the following lap, Webber again ran wide at the final corner which allowed Button through into second place and on lap 65, the Briton used the DRS to get into second place going into the final chicane – setting the fastest lap in the process.