Nico Hulkenberg believes Renault have taken a step forward for 2017, but does not think it will be enough to be in the thick of the midfield battle.
Hulkenberg left Force India for Renault and the RS17 made a good first impression at the Circuit de Catalunya, finishing fourth quickest after the first test in Barcelona.
However, Renault have failed to capitalise on that promising start after a recurring problem with the ERS keeping the RS17 in the garage for lengthy periods.
While testing can be deceiving, Hulkenberg reckons he has a pretty good idea of where Renault's place is in the F1 picture for 2017.
"I think Renault is better-placed than last year," Hulkenberg said. "The team moved closer to the midfield, for sure.
"Points will be difficult, as I think four teams are clearly in front. Then there's not much left. It's going to be difficult."
Hulkenberg also added that Renault would be leaving Barcelona with regret.
"I don't think we matched our expectations. We discovered a few things that are not as we would like them to be," he said.
"So this is how it is. Now we have to work hard to improve and get into the right direction.
"We would have liked to do a bit more set-up tests, which we couldn't do as we were lacking time due to reliability issues. So we couldn't do everything we would have liked."