"We learned a lot this afternoon," agreed Toto Wolff, the new head of motorsports for Mercedes-Benz. "We can see that we have a solid basis to work from, now we need to keep our heads down and work hard to improve further."
But there was no doubting what a happy - and relieved - man Hamilton was on Sunday evening, having staked his future career on a risky switch to Mercedes after so many years in the McLaren
"Thanks to everyone here and back at base for their support over my first race weekend with Mercedes," he said.
"Now we'll look forward to Malaysia next weekend and hopefully build on this positive start with an improved performance. "Malaysia is going to be tough but hopefully we can have a better result. It's going to be tough with the tyres," he added.