Renault driver Jolyon Palmer has revealed the extent of the pressure he feels under while attempting to prove his worth in Formula One.
The 25-year-old made his F1 race debut this season, having tested with Force India in 2014 and featured in free practice with Lotus last year.
Palmer faces a battle to retain his seat with Renault, who have signed Nico Hulkenberg for the 2017 campaign.
And there are just four races of 2016 remaining for the Englishman to make a case for being retained, starting with the United States Grand Prix in Austin this weekend.
"The biggest pressure is in qualifying because it's all down to one lap," Palmer told Autosport.
"If you don't put the lap together you are out in Q1, which is what happened to me in Malaysia and Kev [team-mate Kevin Magnussen] in Japan, so there's big pressure on us.
"In the race I sort of thrive on it a little bit more because it's not down to one lap.
"It's difficult with the pressure because we've got to show what we can do, to try and show the bosses.
"You can't make any mistakes, but you can't be too safe either or you're too slow, so it's a compromise.
"Without the pressure that your career's on the line, it's probably a little bit easier.
"Without pressure everything is kind of second nature, whereas for us there's occasionally an element of tightening up.
"It would be nice to be a little bit more relaxed. There's always pressure in F1, but to know your career is on the line, it feels like every second that passes."
Palmer has recorded just one championship point this season, having finished 10th in Malaysia earlier this month.