Loic Remy's goal on his QPR debut was not enough as Joe Cole gave West Ham a share of the points in the Premier League derby clash at Upton Park.
West Ham dominated possession throughout the afternoon, but it was QPR's superior speed and skill on the break that put them ahead through Remy on 14 minutes.
Sam Allardyce's men continued to throw everything at their guests, however, and Joe Cole was on hand to score when Julio Cesar failed to hang on to Carlton Cole's powerful header deep in the second half.
The Hammers, who dominated possession all afternoon by a two-to-one margin, pushed hard for the winner that they probably deserved.
But the match finished 1-1, keeping QPR's unbeaten start to the year intact - though with Reading's victory against Newcastle, Harry Redknapp's men finished the afternoon even further adrift at the foot of the table.
All the talk before the match was of QPR's new £8m signing Remy, with Sam Allardyce openly worrying about the former Marseille striker's "genuine pace".
And the Frenchman showed that pace from the off, twice getting into excellent positions early on that would have cut West Ham's defence open had the offside flag not gone up.
The home side looked determined to take charge, however, and dominated possession all afternoon. Their efforts almost paid off quickly: first Mohamed Diame's ball across the face of the goal almost brought an opening to the scoring after seven minutes, while Kevin Nolan's powerful header moments later was denied only by a stunning reaction save from Julio Cesar.
Yet while West Ham's attacking players worked hard pressing forward, they left holes at the back which QPR's strike force was happy to plunder. Remy's early warnings for the Hammers defence went unheeded, and in the 14th minute the new man began to pay back his rumoured £80,000-a-week wages by timing a perfect run onto Adel Taarabt's through-ball.
With Winston Reid stranded miles away from his man, Remy was into a one-on-one with Jussi Jaaskelainen and looked every inch the international star as he calmly struck the ball past the Finn into the bottom right corner.
West Ham continued to press hard, with Diame, Joe Cole and Matt Jarvis all working hard and recent acquisition Marouane Chamakh also looking lively on his first start for Harry Redknapp's side.
Chamakh was unlucky, in fact, not to be given a penalty on the half-hour mark when he was pulled half to the floor by Clint Hill, then tripped from behind by Shaun Wright-Phillips as he closed in on goal. But with lots of pushing and shoving by both sides, referee Howard Webb apparently felt unable to point to the spot and QPR made it to half-time with their 1-0 lead intact.
The home side continued to dominate possession in the second half, and as QPR's defence began to tire they finally turned pressure into clear-cut chances.
Joe Cole and Diame both had excellent efforts blocked by Cesar before the hour mark, the Brazilian goalkeeper showing all afternoon exactly why he has picked up 26 winners' medals in his glittering career with some staggering reaction saves.
Marouane Chamakh, similarly, had two good headers cleared off the line by the 33-year-old in the QPR goal - but even his heroics had a limit. Carlton Cole had been on the pitch just five minutes when his header from a Jarvis cross was too good for Cesar to hang on to, and Joe Cole was on hand to knock the loose ball in.
Reid had two chances and Joe Cole one more to win it for West Ham but QPR, often with nine men behind the ball, held firm.
Their resistance ensured Remy, lively throughout the 90 minutes, would not be on the losing side on his Premier League debut - and while Redknapp's men have a lot to do, his new signing's promising link-up with Taarabt suggests that QPR's survival is anything but out of the question.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Julio Cesar - Loic Remy and Adel Taarabt looked dangerous and Joe Cole was inspirational for the Hammers, but QPR's Brazilian goalkeeper was truly the man who decided the game.
West Ham - Jaaskelainen 6, Reid 5, Nolan 6, Tomkins 5, Jarvis 6, Noble 6, O'Brien 5, Demel 6, Diame 7, J.Cole 8, Chamakh 7. Subs: C.Cole 7 Vaz Te n/a
QPR - Cesar 9, Onuoha 8, Hill 8, Nelsen 8, Fabio 7, Mbia 7, Derry 7, Mackie 6, Taarabt 7, Wright-Phillips 5, Remy 8. Subs: Traore 7, Bothroyd 6