Kevin Magnussen has described Renault as a 'top team' as it bids to return to the front of the Formula 1 grid across the next few years.
Renault has returned to the sport as a full works team for the first time since 2010, and recruited former McLaren driver Magnussen to head its attack, after the Dane spent 2015 on the sidelines.
Magnussen, who spent several years within the McLaren fold, was impressed by Renault's approach after the Australian Grand Prix, in which he finished 12th, having recovered from a first lap puncture.
"It is very clear that this team is a top team in Formula 1," he said.
"Maybe not in terms of pace : we know where we are and we are not happy with this, but when we get the car faster we will be there.
"We have a good baseline and something we can really work on. I didn’t have a good race but I am very happy as it looks good for the rest of the season."
Magnussen reckons Renault's pace was close to that of Williams, which has placed third in the standings across the last two seasons.
"We had a good pace - on par with Williams and maybe even faster," he said.
"We didn’t think we would have the pace of the top 10, but in the end we did. I’m gutted as we could possibly have been in the points if I had not had that puncture."