Lewis Hamilton took the win and extended his championship lead in Singapore after a first corner collision saw Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen out of contention, and the race by the second corner.
"Well, I think it would have been more hard if I had lost the auto somewhere in the race, and it's obviously different but with a collision at the start like that, I think. that was when we had to go to the stewards", said Vettel.
The Italian team tried to resolve the issue before the end of the session but failed to do so, with Vettel failing to set a lap, and, as a result, will start the race in last place, especially disappointing as title rival Lewis Hamilton will start on pole position.
With the absence of the Formula One (F1) race at the Sepang International Circuit starting next year, the circuit will not be left idle or risk becoming a "white elephant" project, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said. "It's over the whole year".
Even in the final sector, which consists mainly of two long straights, the Mercedes drivers were over 0.5s off Ferrari, leaving the world champions scratching their heads ahead of Saturday's qualifying session.
Hamilton won the German constructor's only race to date in 2014 and was desperately unlucky not to win a second a year ago - his engine blew up on lap 40 of the 56-lap race while leading, gifting Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo victory.
"I really hope that I can give a massive Sunday for my people".
The race costs £50million just to win the rights and the government were unable to justify the ongoing spend.
A driver loses around three litres of body fluid in sweat during the 90 minutes of an average Malaysian Grand Prix, according to Mercedes' data.
Najib said there was a "sentimental kind of feeling" about the last edition of a race which helped raise Malaysia's profile around the world.
"The last race was a strong reminder that sport always has the power to surprise and defy all predictions", said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff after the two Ferraris collided at Singapore. I think it's part of racing.
Perez, who returned to his home town of Guadalajara after the last race in Singapore, has started a fundraising campaign for relief efforts. We went back to one vehicle trying one, the other auto trying the other.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas struggled with grip and went off track into the gravel within moments of each other. "I was spinning and heading to the wall", Grosjean said, after reviewing footage.
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are complementing each other extremely well and as Ricciardo has quoted, Max brings out the best in him.