Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner says Sebastian Vettel was on his way to a comfortable victory in Australia before he was hit by mechanical problems.
The German driver retired from the race while leading in what Horner described as cruel luck for Vettel.
"Ultimately an extremely disappointing day," said Horner, whose team started from the front row but left Australia with just two points.
"Having been in control of the race, the second in succession, Sebastian unfortunately retired with what looks like a wheel related issue (front left), which certainly cost him a comfortable race win today.
"It was cruel luck for him for the second year in a row here in Australia."
Vettel had also being hit by car problems at the Bahrain Grand Prix when he too looked set for victory.
Team-mate Mark Webber completed a poor day for Red Bull, the Australian finishing in ninth after a difficult race.
"With Mark, at his home GP, he dropped a place at the start, but then was making progress in the damp and tricky conditions," added Horner. "We had to leave him a lap longer than Sebastian to change to dry tyres, as he would have lost too much ground pitting immediately behind him.
"As the circuit went from intermediates to slicks, he made a couple of good passing moves on Massa, but then, unfortunately, he got tangled up with Hamilton for the first time in the race.
"After everything had settled down and with the position he was running in, we decided we had nothing to lose by putting another set of tyres on to let him have a go in the last ten laps, which Rosberg and Hamilton also elected to do. We got Rosberg at the stop but Lewis and Mark got tangled together which resulted in Mark having to pit again for a nose change.
"Ninth place after starting the race with two cars at the front of the grid is massively disappointing."