Jolyon Palmer was not able to put any pace into the car during qualifying
Palmer's car had been rebuilt overnight after he lost control coming out of the final corner during the Friday afternoon practice session.
The Renault was good to go today for qualifying but Palmer was furious at the level of performance of the machine.
"It was my first one of the whole weekend on low fuel and ultra-soft tyres and the car was awful," Palmer said.
F1 2017 cars ranked: Which new model is the best-looking on the grid?
Tue, March 14, 2017
Express Sport ranks the fleet of new F1 2017 cars based on appearance
1 of 11
Which F1 2017 car is the best-looking on the grid?
"Yesterday, I did four laps but at least the car was feeling good. I crashed and that's my bad but I was really happy with the car and showing something sensible on the lap time.
"Today, the car was put back together but that was a disaster.
"I'm a second off my second lap in FP1 which is pretty terrible.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Jolyon Palmer crashed his Renault on Friday but it was rebuilt in time for qualifying
"The brakes are terrible, the balance is pretty horrible and the traction is terrible."
The Brit, whose grid compatriot Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth consecutive Australian Grand Prix pole position, finished last in the first qualifying session with a 1:28.244.
He will not in fact start last as 19th-place qualifier Lance Stroll faces a five-place grid penalty because he had to change his gearbox after a crash in practice on Saturday morning.
However, Palmer does not think the one-place grid bump will make much difference to him.
Asked if he was expecting a long race tomorrow, Palmer replied: "Oh yeah."
Palmer is into his second year at Renault but managed a solitary championship point in his debut season, finishing 10th at the Malaysian Grand Prix.