Despite Bobby Zamora’s first-half red card for a high tackle on Jordi Gomez, the Hoops impressed and dominated much of the relegation clash at Loftus Road.
Loic Remy, who arrived in a £8m deal from Marseille in January, appeared to have netted a sensational 85th-minute winner for QPR after a devastating counter-attack.
However, Stephane Mbia conceded a stoppage-time free-kick on the edge of QPR’s area and Maloney lifted his effort over the Hoops wall and past Julio Cesar.
“If we won today it would have given us a lift to go on a run and stay up. Today was an excellent performance from the players, to play as we did with 10 men. I felt we deserved three points and it was so cruel,” Redknapp told BBC Sport.
“You cannot give free-kicks away. As hard as you are trying to hang on for the last 20 seconds you can’t give free-kicks away like that. We should have run the ball down into the corner and played down the clock.”
He added: “I need people to lift me tonight, I don’t know about [the players]. I need lifting, that is how I feel. That was the cruellest last kick of the ball I have been involved in in football.”
The draw puts Wigan level on points with 17th-placed Sunderland, while QPR are seven points behind the Latics with six games remaining.