Jolyon Palmer was happy after his first ever Formula 1 qualifying session after qualifying fourteenth for the returning Renault Sport Formula 1 team on Saturday.
Despite having limited dry weather running after rain hit Albert Park on Friday that compromised both of the opening free practice sessions, Palmer was able to out-qualify team-mate Kevin Magnussen during qualifying.
Palmer, the 2014 GP2 Series champion and last year’s Reserve Driver for the Lotus F1 Team, admitted he did not particularly expect to finish any higher than he did with the RS16 in the early stages of its development.
“It was a pretty busy qualifying, obviously as it was the first one with the new system,” said Palmer. “It really built up and we were going quicker and quicker all the time so you had to make sure you kept your head above the water and not get knocked out.
“We’re happy to be in Q2; we didn’t really expect much more. I hadn’t done many laps in the dry here so I was trying to build up to it a little bit and then on the last lap, I knew I had to give it everything. It was enough to make Q2 so happy days!”