Renault head of track operations Remi Taffin believes it is possible for the French company to get their power unit near to maximum operational capacity by the Canadian Grand Prix in June.
Renault endured a difficult pre-season campaign but has made progress across the opening four rounds of the year. Taffin expects Renault to make further strides before the long straights of Montreal.
"It's fair to say that coming into Barcelona or Monaco it's not going to be massively power sensitive, but it is going to be massively energy sensitive," he is quoted by ESPN. "In the race it's always going to be important to have the power unit working right. At least we have three weeks to keep on doing the job, and then maybe ahead of Montreal having something that is very close to 100%.
"Overall it is looking promising, but we must not forget that we need the reliability and we are working on that area. It's obvious that we've been among the engine manufacturers that have introduced most of the new components and it's fair to say we need to focus on reliability to get through all the races. It's not only performance that we need, we need also to finish races."
Taffin was hesitant to give a time frame with regards to Renault catching runaway leaders Mercedes.
"It's very difficult to say, because when we get to the point at which we have the same amount of energy around the lap, it's all about having maximum power," he said. "How do you compare power? You go into the games of drag level and so on, but one thing we can say is that Mercedes is quicker down the straights and quicker round the lap, so I presume that they have got a better engine than us.
"That must be right, but having said that there is more than the V6 and the turbo and the electrical machine to get the most out of the power unit. We can discuss about oil, we can discuss about fuel, so we still have a good work in progress with Total in terms of fuel. Definitely there is more to come."