Jolyon Palmer has described his car as “awful” after he set the slowest time in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.
The Renault team was forced to repair Palmer’s RS17 overnight after the Briton lost the rear of his car and made heavy rear-end contact with the wall at Turn 16 during Practice 2.
Having finished 19th, 20th, and 19th respectively in the three free practice sessions, Palmer brought up the rear again in qualifying as he fell at the first hurdle.
Not only was he four seconds adrift of pole-sitter Hamilton’s Q1 effort, but also more than a second behind next-slowest Lance Stroll.
Palmer said that his car, which was hampered by a fuel issue during his qualifying run, was not the same after the fix.
“We had a fuel surge on the first run, so I didn’t do a lap,” explained the 26-year-old.
“My second lap was the first of the weekend on ultra-soft (tyre) and to be honest the car was awful.
“Yesterday the car was feeling good before I crashed, which was my bad, but I was really happy with the car at least and showing something sensible in the lap times.
“Today, the car was put back together – I have to thank the guys – but it’s actually a disaster.
“I’m a second off what I did on my second lap in FP1, which is pretty terrible.
“The brakes are terrible, the balance is pretty horrible and the traction is terrible.”
While Palmer set the slowest time in qualifying, he will start 19th on the 20-car grid after Stroll was handed a grid penalty for a gearbox change after final practice.
The 2017 Australian Grand Prix will be run over 58 laps from 1600 AEDT tomorrow.