Jolyon Palmer got his first drive in the new Renault Sport Formula One car as the team completed their second day of testing in Spain.
The Southwater driver was behind the wheel of the R.S.17 and ran exclusively on Tuesday afternoon at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after Nico Hülkenberg had taken to the track on Monday.
Palmer, who is starting his second season in Formula One, completed an installation lap immediately prior to lunch, then ran through a complete programme after lunch.
His best lap time from 53 circuits was 1min 24.139secs.
The 26-year-old, who is one of only two Brits on the grid this season, was impressed with the improvements made to the car. He said: “I’ve really enjoyed driving the car. The downforce is a massive change; it’s completely different from last year.
“It takes a little bit of getting used to but it’s actually a lot more enjoyable to drive.
“We had a productive afternoon with 53 laps.
“It’s just a shame not to have ran this morning but we learnt a lot regardless and we aim to have a fuller day tomorrow.”
Palmer, who scored a solitary point last season, added: “‘I have no idea where we are going to be, but I am quite happy with the car.” Palmer added.
“I think we have made some good steps and I feel like we are better. We are in a much better ball park this year but I don’t know where we are in terms of the competition.”
Remi Taffin, engine technical director, said: “We had a late start but we were still able to complete set-up work on the chassis, gather data on the power unit side and give Jolyon a chance to evaluate the R.S.17.
“We completed just over 50 laps and we were happy with how the car ran.”
The new season starts on March 26 with the Australian Grand Prix.