May 3 (GMM/ The pressure on Jolyon Palmer will stay high in Barcelona next weekend.

After new Friday tester Sergey Sirotkin outpaced Renault’s rookie British regular at Sochi, it will be now reserve Esteban Ocon’s turn at the wheel of the yellow car in practice for the forthcoming Spanish grand prix.

Palmer had an awful race in China recently, but a change of floor in Russia appeared to fix his mysterious handling problems.

“First of all I want to note that, compared with Friday, when he had problems, he made significant progress,” Renault team boss Frederic Vasseur said.

“In the race he showed good pace. After the incident with Carlos Sainz it was more difficult, but he did the job.

“The team should have more stable race weekends if we want to achieve better results,” Frenchman Vasseur added.

It was teammate Kevin Magnussen who really impressed at Sochi, however, securing the official ‘driver of the day’ prize for opening Renault’s points account.

“It was an unexpected result for Renault, after the team started work very late on this car,” said former F1 driver and Frenchman Franck Montagny, speaking to Le Point.

“I have to compliment Kevin Magnussen. He is young, with much less experience than Alonso but always consistent and making few errors on track,” he added.