Jolyon Palmer finally gets F1 testing miles after Renault problems

Jolyon Palmer shook off his latest Renault gremlins in pre-season Formula 1 testing and was left feeling upbeat about a car he has described as "confidence inspiring"

Jolyon Palmer finally gets F1 testing miles after Renault problems

After completing just 79 laps over his first two days last week due to issues with the RS16, and then watching team-mate Kevin Magnussen rack up 509 during his four days, Palmer started day three on a wretched note with a gearbox failure.

He added just 26 laps to his tally in the morning, but after a gearbox change went on to complete a 66-lap Spanish Grand Prix simulation to take his total to 98 for the day.

Asked by Autosport about his bad day start to the day, Palmer replied: "It was a bit depressing.

"I lost fourth gear, lost a lot of running, they had to take the box off and have a look.

"It was a shame. It pitched me into the gravel as well because I was downshifting and suddenly lost all gears, all engine braking, and that sent me off.

"What happened was a bit of a surprise. I seem to not be very lucky at the moment because it [the car] ran smoothly for four days, then I jump back in and after 20 laps I've a gearbox problem.

"Anyway, it was fixed, and this afternoon was really good actually. We did a full race sim, and it was what I really needed to get an understanding of it all."

After suggesting following his spell in the car last week the Renault power unit was "not as powerful as the Mercedes engine" used by the Enstone team in 2015, Palmer has been pleasantly surprised by what he experienced in his latest outing.

"The Renault power unit is not bad at all really," assessed Palmer.

"After day one we found there was a little issue we hadn't quite got on top of, so it was already feeling a lot better.

"There are improvements all the time, and I'm really happy with how the guys are working at Viry.

"The engine doesn't feel massively different from last year's Mercedes, although I'm sure Mercedes has improved, but they [Renault] are working hard and I'm quite pleased with the direction."

Palmer is now looking for performance running for his - and Renault's - final day with the car on Friday prior to its next outing in practice for the Australian GP.

In terms of the car overall, Palmer concedes he "quite likes it", and feels it is good baseline going forward.

"The best thing about it is that it's consistent, I know what to expect from it, there is nothing strange and it gives you confidence to push," said Palmer.

"We still need to work on putting some more aero on it, and general performance, but it's quite confidence-inspiring in the car."

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