Cyril Abiteboul claimed that despite a promising Hungarian Grand Prix, Renault have had a tough first half of the season since its takeover of Lotus last year December.
At one point during the race in Budapest over the weekend, Jolyon Palmer was ahead of both Force India’s but an unfortunate spin meant that the Brit lost out on his first points of the season and eventually ended up in P12.
With Kevin Magnussen scoring their only points of the season, Abiteboul admitted that they have underachieved in the opening eleven races.
“In Budapest we demonstrated that we had taken a tangible step forward, not just in our own performance but in relative performance to our rivals,” he explained.
“In the race we were able to outrace Haas, Sauber and even Force India and Jolyon was just a sniff away from his first points.
“We now go to the final race of the first part of the year with our plan back on track.
“We knew that the first races would be about recovery and setting the foundations, but we had a tougher ride than expected.”
Looking ahead to Germany, the French manufacturer’s managing director said that they will be looking to build on momentum of Palmer’s strong showing in Budapest.
“The task for Hockenheim is translating the extra pace we’ve unlocked into the points we just missed in Budapest,” he added.
“We’re making progress and the benefits of a strong result would be welcomed by everyone at Enstone and Viry.
“For the rest of this season, our goal is to attack the teams ahead, using new aero parts developed since the beginning of the season and marginal evolutions of the engine to stay in the same pace as our competitors, despite our focus on 2017.”