Lewis Hamilton was pleased to limit the damage and take second place behind his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in Sunday’s 2016 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
The three-time world champion made a slow start and dropped to sixth on the opening lap before mounting a revival to finish behind the German and ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
“I came back from quite far behind so I feel that I achieved quite a lot today -- so I'm really happy I did damage limitation,” said Hamilton.
“The team did a great job.
“What's difficult (this season) is knowing how long these tyres are going to go... I didn't think they were going to last, but then they had a drop and Sebastian was on my tail.”
Hamilton and Rosberg showed no signs of the tensions of previous seasons and exuded warmth towards each other, despite an opening lap clash.
Rosberg apologised for his part in the incident, insisting he did not know Hamilton was there.
Speaking about his poor start, Hamilton said: "As far as I'm aware… When we had the stoppage, I asked my engineer and I think we just had no wheels spinning.
"It was one of those difficult starts. The actual start wasn't shocking. It was just Turn One when Nico ran me off where I lost the most ground. I'm just grateful I was able to recover.”
Romain Grosjean was delighted with his sixth place finish in Sunday’s race on his debut with the new American Haas team, the first points-scoring arrival by a team since Toyota in 2002.
“Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes… we made history today !!!! What an amazing feeling. All of us deserve it so much!” he Tweeted.
Team boss Gunther Steiner said their outstanding F1 debut would not have been possible without Ferrari's help.
"Without the help from Ferrari, this wouldn't have happened. It cannot happen," said Steiner. "That's what we said we are not going to do it like the others because it's more of the same.”
Grosjean had started the race from 18th place on the grid.
Palmer shines but rookies go pointless
Jolyon Palmer finished 11th and just outside the points on his debut with the re-born Renault team in Sunday’s race, the best result by the three rookies competing at Albert Park Circuit.
The Briton’s team-mate Dane Kevin Magnussen was 12th after suffering an early puncture.
The other two rookies German Pascal Wehrlein and Indonesian Rio Haryanto, both of Manor Racing, finished in 16th place and unclassified -- ‘retired, after 17 laps’.