Nico Rosberg says he efforts to take pole position away from Lewis Hamilton were undone at the final corner at the Sepang circuit.
In the wake of Friday’s practices, several drivers voiced their displeasure at the revised Turn 15 which is now an off-camber corner.
And on Saturday it was Rosberg’s turn to struggle with it.
The German made a mistake on his final flying lap and finished qualifying 0.414s behind championship rival Hamilton.
“I was going for pole, what else would I be doing out there?” he said.
“I would have come close but made a mistake at the last corner. I couldn’t get the settings right at the last corner.”
Rosberg, though, is adamant that starting second won’t put an end to his chances of winning especially in light of Mercedes’ ongoing clutch issues.
He added: “Second place doesn’t mean victory is not possible, we have seen that many times.
“I am still optimistic for tomorrow.”
The 31-year-old old will line up on Sunday’s grid eight points ahead of Hamilton in the race for the World title.