SOCHI, Melbourne -- Jolyon Palmer refused to blame his Q1 crash on his long list of Renault problems in the build-up to qualifying in Sochi, saying he just made a "simple mistake".
An exhaust issue on Friday prompted Renault to break the overnight curfew and change the chassis on Palmer's car, but his participation in FP3 was short-lived as the team soon detected a problem which required an engine change. That left Palmer significantly down on mileage going into qualifying.
A mistake at the start of Q1 had left him bottom of the timing screens going into his final run, when he clouted the Turn 4 kerb and spun into the wall. It continues a run of problems for Palmer but after qualifying he said he only had himself to blame for his early exit from qualifying.
When asked if weekends like Sochi made him start feeling frustration towards Renault, Palmer said: "No, because I also put it in the wall, so it is difficult for me to point any fingers at the team.
"It is a shame because it is a similar case to Melbourne where I lost a lot of track time, you try to make up for it and probably if I had dialled in a lot better in FP3 then I think we had the pace to be in Q1 comfortably. But if you haven't done many laps, it becomes a bit more on the limit, dig deep and explore new limits. Me losing track time certainly contributed but it is my mistake, a simple one hitting the kerb on the lap."
Palmer's misery was compounded by seeing teammate Nico Hulkenberg claim eighth on the grid for Sunday's race, meaning the German is up 4-0 in the qualifying stakes this year.
Asked how he stays motivated after another disappointing session, he replied: "With difficulty... it is not going my way but it is a long season. It wasn't going my way this time last season as well. I actually felt good with the car today, I think the guys did a good job to change the chassis last night and we were in a good place with the set up.
"Compared to Nico, the few laps I have done, it has not been so bad. It is just... obviously very disappointing to put it in the wall like that. There are positives but a lot of negatives as well."
Palmer then downplayed the suggestion Renault is favouring big-money signing Nico Hulkenberg in set-up, pointing out that the German's car broke down in FP1 -- albeit when the German had given up his seat to Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin.
"I am confident [in Renault], it is just the way it has been. The one time there was a problem on his car he wasn't even driving it! That is how it goes. I am sure the luck will turn and like I said last year it was tough times and I dug in and finished the year with a very good second half. We are not even a quarter through the year so there are plenty of races to turn it around."