Michael Schumacher said he did not regret Ferrari's decision to give their 2005 car an early debut after retiring from the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Schumacher qualified second and pressed winner Fernando Alonso's Renault in the early laps but his car suffered hydraulic failure after 11 laps.
Schumacher said: "It was the best decision we could have taken.
"We were confident we would finish the race and we have three weeks before the next race which will make us more so."
Schumacher's team-mate Rubens Barrichello limped home to ninth place, nursing a gearbox problem that affected him throughout the race weekend.
Checks on Schumacher's car after the race ruled out debris from the track as a cause of his retirement.
"At first I thought that it may have happened because of all the small parts of debris flying around in the first lap," said Schumacher.
"But that was not the reason for the hydraulic problem, as we found out when we performed our checks."
Schumacher said he was encouraged by the car's pace rather than worried about its lack of reliability.
"Of course we have to improve the reliability. But we have shown in the past that we are very good at doing that," he said.
"But I am not too upset. I was running second and the car is fast. We are still encouraged.
"We are strong - don't worry.
"It is obviously disappointing (to retire), but I prefer to look at the positive side of things.
"It was a fantastic effort to bring the new car for the race.
"This is the best decision we could have taken. I am confident we will fight back and we will be competitive in the coming races.
"The season is very long this time, there are 16 races left so a lot
can still happen. I'm expecting a few wins in the F2005. I haven't given up the fight one bit."