Palmer: Testing ahead of F1 debut ‘a little bit disastrous’

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Jolyon Palmer made no secret of his frustration after encountering a number of issues throughout Formula 1 pre-season testing, calling it “a little bit disastrous”.

Palmer will make his F1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, having spent 2015 working as a reserve driver at Lotus following his GP2 title victory the previous year.

Issues with the new Renault R.S.16 F1 car limited Palmer to just 273 laps across four days of test running – almost half as many as teammate Kevin Magnussen.

“It has been a little bit disastrous to be honest,” Palmer said on Friday afternoon. “I don’t think we have done 200 laps yet for four days and with four hours left.

“That is obviously not what you want when you are a rookie trying to turn up in Melbourne and do a good job, but the car at least is reasonable.”

Palmer was pleased that Magnussen had not been as unfortunate with recurring issues on the Renault car, believing that the Dane’s feedback will put the team in good stead for the season opener.

“It’s good because if he does the same laps as me, we’re in trouble. He had four trouble free days. I wish I had four trouble free days, but it’s unlucky,” Palmer said.

“I’m pleased for the team because at least Kevin has given us a direction and a good understanding, and we can work a lot with what he’s done.”