Remi Taffin believes Lotus' decision to sit out the opening pre-season test is largely responsible for their current woes.
Lotus recorded a double DNF at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix with Pastor Maldonado retiring on lap 29 and Romain Grosjean on lap 44.
That, though, was more laps than the E22 had previously completed.
Sitting out the first test at Jerez, Lotus were always on the back foot in pre-season testing and ran out of time to resolve issues with their car and its Renault engine.
"We lack running with Lotus, so we're lacking experience," Taffin, Renault's head of track operations, told Autosport. "We're lacking knowledge of the car, as simple as that.
"Even on our side we lack experience on how to deal with the power unit and to be completely fair we had so many issues that are sequential.
"We had lateness building the car, we had problems with our power unit and mapping, we had problems with driveability and the clock just keeps on turning.
"We were very safe on everything [with Lotus] because we wanted to do the mileage, but unfortunately we had this failure.
"Nothing else would have prevented the cars finishing very close to the top 10."
He is, however, confident that Lotus will quickly improve as they put more laps on the car.
"The solution is very simple: we get to Sepang, we run with the same sort of set-up we had in the race [in Australia] - we know it's working - and we just want to run," he added.
"We don't want to take the last tenths out of anything, we just want the mileage.
"If we take the mileage the lap time will come. It's just a matter of putting things in the right order."