Felipe Nasr says his P5 on debut is a "good answer" to those who accuse him of being a pay driver with the Sauber team.
Nasr was signed to Sauber ahead of this year's Championship and brought with him significant sponsorship from Banco Do Brasil.
That has led to some saying he is just another pay driver in Formula 1.
However, that's a claim disputed by the Brazilian who hopes his fifth place in Australia shows the world that he deserves a place in F1.
"This is a good answer [to the pay driver claims]," he told Crash.net. "That is all I work for, to put the results on track. I am not a guy that gives excuses.
"I don't know where this pay driver call came from because I have always had people investing in my career from the beginning. I never had to put any family money on my career, my family have never had the money to do it."
He added: "What is the problem with having a sponsor on my car? What is the difference being supported by Red Bull and they will pay for your drive than having a sponsor that wants to be with you.
"I prefer to have many sponsors that want to be with than to be stuck with only one, so I am happy to work with all the companies, especially Brazilian companies.
"When I was 16 or 17, I already had a salary, so I don't see where people get this impression I am a pay driver."