Jolyon Palmer says Renault has been victim of the 'usual first day issues' as his opening day of 2016 F1 testing was curtailed by software issues.
The British rookie was handed the honour of driving on the first day of Renault's return to Formula 1 as a fully-fledged manufacturer but ended it deflated after completing just 37 timed laps – second lowest of all teams on track – and propping up the bottom of the timesheet almost a full second off of rookie Haas.
Palmer has admitted it was a disappointing day and says the team has a steep learning curve ahead to solve its software problems before tomorrow morning.
“Disappointing first day I would say. It's been challenging,” Palmer said. “Usual first day issues. We would definitely have liked to get some more laps under our belt but we understood some issues, got some laps in at the end. We just need to work hard tonight and get a lot more in tomorrow.”
“[We had] software issues. It's just difficult to understand it really. The guys have been working all day trying to get on top of that and we made progress throughout the day and hopefully overnight we can fix it for good and head out 9AM tomorrow morning.”
Due to the reduction in F1 test days – from 12 to eight for 2016 – the 2014 GP2 champion has effectively already run 25% of his pre-season time by sharing the RS16 with Kevin Magnussen.
Palmer says losing so much testing time has been 'painful' but feels his runs last year in FP1 as the former Lotus F1 team's reserve and third driver will compensate for the lack of test days.
“It's painful, yes,” he said. “I had a lot of mileage last year, the car is an evolution of last year's car so didn't feel massively different but we didn't do any performance running. So it's frustrating but I've got three more days, that's plenty of laps.”