Alvaro Parente says the Ocean Racing Technology team is still some way off the front-running pace despite his encouraging performance in the GP2 season-opener at Barcelona.
The former British Formula 3 and World Series by Renault champion moved from Super Nova to Ocean this season. The team was reconstituted over the winter when a consortium led by ex-Formula 1 driver Tiago Monteiro took over the struggling BCN squad.
Parente only qualified 14th in Spain, but made good progress in the first race and was battling for sixth when he collided with Lucas di Grassi, ending their races.
Although he was pleased to have been fighting for a top six finish, Parente said the team still needed to find more speed as he felt he had benefited from other drivers being inconsistent.
"The pace was not that impressive," he told AUTOSPORT. "I was pushing all the time, and when some people in front stopped making mistakes they had more pace.
"So I think we are missing general pace, and we'll have to see why that is because we're not right there. For sure we have to improve.
"For qualifying it's one thing; for the race it is another. For Saturday's race I had the car to finish sixth. No better. If anything, even not that good. But I was thinking we were going to finish sixth until the crash happened."