Nico Rosberg will start on pole in Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix with title rival Lewis Hamilton back in third.
Hamilton was 0.704 seconds slower than Rosberg after a difficult qualifying session, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo splitting the two Mercedes to book his spot on the front row of the grid.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen took fourth ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, with Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat, Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez completing the top 10.
The season has been all about the Mercedes pair to date but, with Hamilton struggling all weekend in the Far East, it might well be that other teams make an impact on the Marina Bay Street Circuit, and the Brit confessed that things have not exactly gone to plan.
"It hasn't been my weekend so far," said Hamilton. "Nico did a great job. He showed the true potential of the car and I will do as good as I can to get at least one step up."
Rosberg is favourite to take the chequered flag and the German was delighted with qualifying.
"I am definitely happy with that one," he said. "It was one of my top three laps ever. It wasn't clear in qualifying how we would stack up against Red Bull so I really had to give it everything and pull it out of the bag, which is cool."