Pascal Wehrlein says Manor can be encouraged by its potential, despite completing his maiden Formula 1 race as the last of the classified finishers in Australia.
Wehrlein placed 16th after late struggles with tyre wear and brakes, but had earlier surged from 21st to 15th on the first lap, before maintaining his position across the opening stint.
"First of all it’s great to finish my first race and thanks to the team for that," he said.
"I got a fantastic start and I was very happy to find myself in 15th place at the end of the opening lap.
"That first half of the race was really strong and I was pushing hard on the Super Soft and then the Soft.
"It was great to be as high as 13th at one point and to be racing with Sauber."
Alongside the tyre and brake issues, Wehrlein believes he and Manor were hindered by the timing of the red flag.
"Things turned for me after my first stop, which happened just before the red flag," he explained.
"Our plan was to have a short stint on the Super Soft which meant we pitted for the Soft not long before the crash, so that was a major setback because many of the other cars still hadn’t stopped.
"After that, everyone ahead started to pull away from me and because we were struggling with tyre degradation I couldn’t do anything about it. Towards the end I had a braking issue, so I just had to focus on getting to the flag."