Palmer happy with initial Renault showing

© XPB 

Jolyon Palmer says his first experiences behind the wheel of the Renault R.S.17 have exceeded expectations.

Palmer completed 143 laps in total over three days in pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. He ended the week on a high in third place on Thursday's timesheets, and was sixth fastest of all four days.

"It's a pleasant surprise at the moment," Palmer said afterwards.

"I think we've had quite a strong week, performance-wise," he said. "But we don't really know what everyone else is doing yet. And we don't know what everyone's going to bring, updates next week and in Melbourne as well.

"Obviously we've got a lot to come next week, but I'm sure everyone's got a lot," he added. "We've got a lot more to come. I feel like we're in a good position.

"The car is improving all the time in terms of feel and pace with more to come than has been seen on the timing monitors so far."

The team lost time on Monday because it was using short-lived prototype versions of brake ducts. More time was lost on Tuesday flying in new components, and Palmer also suffered a spin on Wednesday morning.

"We didn't really get any really clean runs in the first couple of days, it was not a lot of performance running, just trying to build some miles on it.

"We’ve continued to improve the car and that’s exactly what you want to achieve from pre-season testing.

"I think we can be really happy with where we’ve got to at the end of this first test and we’re definitely looking positively to next week."

GALLERY: F1 drivers' wives and girlfriends

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter