Lotus Renault boss Eric Boullier has urged his squad to keep faith that it can hold on to fifth place in the Constructors' Championship, despite a recent run of disappointing results.
The team has a 21-point advantage over nearest challengers Force India in the standings, but has scored just six points since the German Grand Prix in July. Although that run of form has let Force India and Scuderia Toro Rosso close down on it, Boullier thinks the results do not fully reflect the potential of Renault.
"For a few races now it has been clear that our pace is better than these competitors," he explained. "At times we have even matched the competitiveness of Mercedes. We know where we are in terms of pace, which is between fourth and fifth place on the grid and we just want to ensure we get to the end of the race weekend with some points to our name.
"That alone will solidify our position as the fifth best team on this year's grid. It is our only target now that we get our car up amongst the points and show people that this team is ready to launch its assault on next year's championship. For now, it's heads down and all eyes focused on giving this team a result to be proud of in the UAE."
Boullier claims that Renault was hugely frustrated that it did not score any points in India, because it felt the car had the pace to produce more.
"It was a frustrating weekend because we had some performance and, at times, the car was delivering," he said. "As a result, this was not the end product we were looking for or expecting. We went into the weekend optimistic that it might be a track that would suit our car.
"What was most frustrating about the whole experience was that there were glimpses of performance. We did not deliver when it mattered, however, and that's at the very heart of our slightly underwhelming weekend. We were looking to the Sunday as a real opportunity to get some points in the basket, but it was not to be."
Bruno Senna claims that total focus from all team members is required to ensure that it makes the most of the Abu Dhabi and Brazilian Grands Prix.
"We need to be realistic but also put in a massive effort to extract the maximum possible from the weekend," he said. "In terms of managing our expectations, fortunately we always wait until Friday to know what to expect in terms of results, and we believe that we can do a good job again in Abu Dhabi.
"It is a very tight group; we need to get everything 100% right to be in front of them. We are at the business end of the season now and, make no mistake; we will be putting in every ounce of effort to secure some pride for the team."