Red Bull swept the front row in Australia, then it all fell apart in the race as Sebastian Vettel retired from the lead with a wheel failure and Mark Webber made a string of errors and eventually finished eighth.
AUTOSPORT was there to hear team boss Christian Horner's thoughts on another frustrating weekend for the fastest team in Formula 1.
Q. What was the thinking behind the early decision about pitstops?
Christian Horner: Obviously it was important to get the crossover right and the priority will always go to the race leader in that situation. Mark [Webber] had to go a lap longer, which dropped him fewer places than if he had queued in the pitlane.
Then, Sebastian [Vettel] was controlling the race, looking after the tyres - there was a long way to go. It could have rained again but it looked like it was going to be dry and he was cruising, looking after the tyres. He saw some sparks on that lap and radioed in, saying he had a problem. We called him in and unfortunately whatever failure occurred happened in Turn 13, of all corners.
Q. What can you do to avoid a repeat of this type of problem - as you had a brake issue in Bahrain qualifying?
CH: That was a brake disc issue, which was similar to what Lewis Hamilton had in Abu Dhabi last year. We just keep pushing. Don't panic - it is a long season. We know we have got a fast car and I would far rather have a fast car than a slow car. We've had two pole positions. We should have been sitting on 50 points and Sebastian is sitting on 12. But there is still a long way to go, and the season will have many different twists and turns.
Q. Do you think there was anything wrong in the incident between Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton?
CH: I don't think so. It was a racing accident and I don't think you could complain about this race being boring. Mark was in a position and quicker, Lewis was in trouble with his tyres - as he had radioed in - and he had to have a go. For me it was a racing incident.
Q. What can you say to Sebastian Vettel to get the trust back in the car?
CH: I think he has got complete trust and confidence in the car. He has been massively fast all weekend. Unfortunately a reliability issue has cost him a race win this weekend, but he will be back very strong in a week's time.
Q. How is he feeling about this, because he should be leading the championship?
CH: He recognises that, but he also recognises that he has got a very fast car beneath him. So, I think it is not time for panic and we just need to stay focused. Malaysia should be a good track for us and it is important for us that we go there and challenge to win that race. At least Fernando Alonso didn't win again here. We've had a different winner, so it is very, very early in the championship.
Q. You look frustrated and annoyed - you are not your normal relaxed self?
CH: Starting first and second on the grid, the whole team is pretty pissed off to have only come away with two points. But we will brush ourselves down. We take away from here the confidence that again we have a very fast car and we will work hard on whatever the problem is that caused this issue. And we will be stronger in a week's time.
Q. What did you make of Mark's race?
CH: I thought it was very eventful. He and Lewis got together at least three times - and he was just unlucky. He dropped a place at the start and got it back in a great move on [Felipe] Massa. Then obviously he lost a little bit of ground when he had to wait to pit after Sebastian - and he was making progress again.
He passed Massa again, lost a place to Hamilton going in deep to Turn 2, went off the track but got back on. Then everything calmed down and he was sitting in a queue that was difficult to make any progress in. And there was little to lose in taking another set of tyres and going again.
He managed to jump [Nico] Rosberg at the stop, very nearly jumped Hamilton but had traffic with [Heikki] Kovalainen on his out lap. Then he passed Hamilton, went off again on a different line - so Hamilton got back past him. Then quickly the two of them caught the [Robert] Kubica-Massa-Alonso train and it looked set for a really big battle over the last 10 laps. Lewis didn't manage to do any damage to Fernando, Mark got a run at Lewis and it was a racing incident.
Q. Do you think it was over-confidence from Mark?
CH: I think he had to have a go. Lewis had made a mistake the lap before. He had already radioed in that he was struggling with graining on his tyres, so he had to have a go.
Q. In the second half of last season, Red Bull had a very quick car but niggles cost it points in the championship. Are we seeing a repeat this time out?
CH: I don't think we've ever seen this failure before. We need to understand it first. The pitstop execution was strong and other teams will have other issues at different points of the year. We haven't had one driver go out and dominate, the dominant car so far is ours and it is important that in one race's time we score some big points.
Q. In Malaysia do you think you have a chance to be as strong as here?
CH: I see no reason why not. Aero is something we are good at.