Renault has vowed to continue an aggressive development push at the start of the season after an encouraging start to its campaign in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Although the team had failed to shine during winter testing, a new aerodynamic package introduced for the first race of the season at Sakhir helped Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov show some promise last weekend.
Team principal Eric Boullier thinks that the outfit is in better shape that he had originally predicted, and believes it can target regular points finishes.
"If we don't do any mistakes, and run the car very properly, then our expectations will be to be regularly inside the top 10," Boullier told AUTOSPORT. "We will keep this aggressive development for the first part of the season – and every race, or every other race, we will have an upgrade."
Boullier said that the team had deliberately stayed away from setting headline-grabbing times in winter testing, deciding instead to save all its car developments for the first race.
"We had a different approach during the winter," he said. "We wanted to focus more on the reliability, and the race-pace actually. We also knew that we could not have on time our aerodynamic upgrade, so that is why we chose to focus on that part.
"Jerez went very well, but when the other teams brought their upgrades we were a little bit farther down the order in Barcelona. But I am happy because compared to last year; we have really closed the gap with the top four teams. Ferrari is ahead of us, Red Bull is ahead of us, but McLaren is not so far and Mercedes GP is not very far."
Boullier has also moved to play down any suggestion that the French car manufacturer remains unhappy about the FIA giving McLaren's "F-duct" concept the green light.
"A regulation is created to be interpreted," he said. "Every team has his own interpretation. It was not our interpretation that such a modification would be legal, but the FIA is ruling the series, and if its interpretation is that it is legal then we are fine with that.
"It is just now opening up some opportunities for us to investigate and look – so it means some work and some interesting research in the wind tunnel."