The Brit clashed with Carlos Sainz late in the race, hindering him with a five-second penalty and a two-point endorsement on his superlicence, but he said that his struggles with his tyres began long before that incident.
"I had a really good start – up to 11th – and was keeping pace with the Williams for a while, but unfortunately the tyre degradation was unbelievable for us," he said. "The overall pace was okay, but the tyres were running out, which meant I had to do three stops."
"I was trying to fight with everyone through the race but I had no grip which makes it very difficult," he added. "I tried to pass Carlos as he left a gap, but he braked a bit early and I had no grip to slow down - it's a real shame."
It was a trying final race for Renault in what has been a difficult return to Formula One. Palmer eventually finished 17th, while Haas-bound Kevin Magnussen retired from the race early on with suspension damage.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing