Having out-developed most teams last season, Cyril Abiteboul admits Renault are again lagging behind after failing to produce a car “at the level of our expectations.”
Last season Renault closed the gap on the front-runners and in doing so worked their way up to sixth in the Constructors’ Championship.
This year, while they may be vying for the ‘best of the rest’ tag against McLaren, they have again lost ground to the leading trio.
Although the team has featured in Q3, they are on average almost two seconds behind the pole sitter.
It means Renault face another year of having to out-develop the big teams if they hope to close the gap to half a second.
“Last year we managed to out-develop all teams, including the top teams,” managing director Abiteboul told ESPN. “We started two seconds off the pace from the top teams and we finished the season one second away from the top teams.
“OK, we are starting this year more than one second or so from the top teams, but if we also manage to out-develop like we did last year, the target that we have set ourselves of finishing half a second away from them by the end of the year is an achievable one.
“I think we have the talent, skills and also the resources to achieve that, so let’s see.
“I think that we still struggle in the winter to produce a car at the level of our expectations [for the start of the season] and there is reason to that, but I am sure that by putting more work we will be able to also improve that aspect in the next few years.”