Jolyon Palmer says he ends the opening pre-season F1 test with fewer than half the number of laps he wanted after an engine breakdown prematurely ended his day at Circuit de Catalunya.

The Renault Sport F1 driver had already been playing catch-up after software gremlins limited him to 37 laps on the opening day and having made some positive progress on the morning of day two it was cruelly halted by an engine failure midway through the afternoon.

Having only completed 79 laps in total over the two days, way below the average of 100 per day he had expected, Palmer feels he is already a step behind as he hands over to Kevin Magnussen for the final two days of the first test.

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"Day one's difficulties didn't help for today's running so 79 in two days is far too little but that is how it is," Palmer said. "With the change of power unit and effectively a new team these problems are bound to happen it is just a shame it has come so early on the second day.

"I was in problem-solving mode yesterday and today we were getting through what we wanted to quite well and we didn't have any issues but then suddenly we had a big one. Today was going quite well and then it all came to a sudden stop which is a shame."

Palmer confirmed the team is undergoing a complete power unit replacement which was the reason why he couldn't return to the track and now won't be in action again until the second test next week.

"79 laps is not ideal for half my pre-season testing so I need a lot more next week," he said. "There are positives from today as at least we had the car running to do baseline set-up work and get an understanding for it after yesterday was a bigger disaster. The good thing is hopefully we can fix it and get Kevin some laps for the next two days."