Palmer had qualified eleventh on Saturday and was confident about finally achieving his first 2017 points in the race, only for the yellow #30 car to pull off on the formation lap with the terminal problem. It marked yet another mechanical setback for Palmer, who has failed to match team-mate Nico Hulkenberg this year and is said to be fighting for his seat. Abiteboul echoed his driver's disappointment, and could only say sorry, recognising that the situation was out of Palmer's hands.
"We have to say sorry to Jo as he finally had the starting position he needed and we all wanted him to get those first points," he said. "He almost certainly would have made it if we hadn't had the problem."
Whether or not this will damage Palmer's confidence heading to Hungary remains to be seen, but he will undoubtedly want to put a difficult British Grand Prix behind him and do better as the speculation around his future continues.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing