Schumacher came to grief on the third turn and battled on before retiring after 19 laps and was followed shortly afterwards by fellow German Nico Rosberg with mechanical problems after being rammed by Rubens Barrichello.
Mercedes, who finished fourth in the constructors' title last season, came away from the opening race without any points.
"There is absolutely no doubt we want to do better than in the opening race, which was a disappointment for all of us. We clearly see that as a challenge and it is much too early to write us off," he said adding that he was relishing the opportunity to compete at his favourite Sepang circuit in Malaysia this weekend.
"Everybody in the team remains positive and is in a fighting mood. So I expect a better weekend for us to come; a weekend we can build on," he said.
Since coming out of retirement, the 42-year-old Schumacher failed to reach the podium in the 2010 season and his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg finished 70 points ahead of him in the World Drivers' Championships.