Renault boss Eric Boullier says his team is setting its sights on taking the fight to Red Bull Racing in this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.
At Monaco last year, Robert Kubica put his Renault on the front row of the grid and battled hard for a podium finish with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Adamant that the R31 has similar strengths to last year's car, Boullier says Renault's ambitions are being raised for the Monaco weekend.
"I hope we can do it," Boullier told AUTOSPORT. "If the car is good then there is no reason why we should not be fighting from the front. Let's see.
"I think it will be crucial, though – like at any racetrack but especially at Monaco – to qualify at the front. Let's see how we manage the traffic, but I am pretty sure our car will be fast in Monaco."
Boullier is convinced the Renault is much better than its recent results suggest, which he thinks bodes very well for Monaco.
"We were surprised to be honest about the lap of Vitaly in Q3 in Spain," explained the Frenchman. "He had a small mistake with the paddle shift, but he could have clearly ended up in the middle of the top guys. So I think Monaco, the way we designed the car, it should be better for there, so we should be closer to the front."
F1 teams are bracing themselves for a strategic nightmare in Monaco, with the possibility that the super-soft tire could lead to a chaotic race because its degradation is so high. Speaking about the tire situation, Boullier said: "Nobody knows what will happen. There is the super-soft, there are the marbles.
"Depending on the timing of when you will be pitting, you can end up being stuck behind cars – and that will change completely the order of the race. I think it will be more a gamble than we are used to."