Palmer had to 'stick one' on Alonso in race sim

© XPB 

Jolyon Palmer says he "had to stick one on" Fernando Alonso during a race simulation on Thursday in Barcelona.

After a difficult morning - during which he completed just 26 laps due to a gearbox problem - Palmer was able to recover with plenty of mileage in the afternoon session for Renault. During a race simulation he came up behind Fernando Alonso and had to overtake the McLaren on track, while also being passed by Lewis Hamilton at a different stage.

"I was surprised at how much [Alonso] cared about track position in pre-season testing," Palmer said. "But it was nice, my first little scrap in Formula 1.

"I managed to stick one on him into Turn 1. He wasn’t giving up, he went defensive, so I had to just stick one in. It was good racecraft practice. So I had a bit of attacking with Alonso, a bit of defending with Lewis. I wasn’t too surprised when he came past in the end.

"It was my first proper race sim and I’m out there battling with Alonso and Hamilton, so it’s not bad practice as it goes."

Having admitted more problems in the morning session was "depressing", Palmer was left encouraged by his afternoon running and did not notice any major weaknesses compared to the McLaren and Mercedes.

"It’s so difficult to tell. I was on different tyres to Fernando, and I don’t know what Lewis was on, but he is just on a different planet anyway.

"It’s difficult to tell unless you know you are on the same run plan. I’m sure our car is strong in certain areas, but overall I’m quite pleased with where we are starting the season, and I think we can improve quite a lot."

Follow live coverage and timing from pre-season testing here

GALLERY: Pre-season testing

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