Renault technical director James Allison insists that the result of the Bahrain Grand Prix wasn't fair reward for the Enstone-based squad for the work it has put into the R30 over the winter.
Robert Kubica saw his chances of a scoring start with his new team ended by a spin on the opening lap, while team-mate Vitaly Petrov was forced to retire on his F1 debut with a suspension issue.
It left the team with no points from the opening race of the year, and while Allison said that wasn't a fair reflection on the team, he insisted the car as more than capable of being a regular contender for top ten finishes.
“Overall, I'm disappointed that we're going home empty handed because it's not a fair reward for the effort the team has put in over the last few months or the underlying competitiveness of our car,” he said. “On the flip side, I'm pleased that we've met our initial performance expectations, which is the tricky bit.
“Our basic competitiveness could have put us sixth or seventh in qualifying, and that's a hugely better position than at the end of last year or at the beginning. It shows that we've made a proper step up with the car.
“We have a car that should be capable of bringing home points at every race. If we keep up the pressure on the development side, there's no reason why we shouldn't be doing that.”
Allison also revealed more information on the suspension issue that had forced Petrov out of the race, admitting that modifications would be made to ensure the problem doesn't occur again in future.
“On lap eleven, Vitaly reported that the car wasn't behaving normally and he began losing a lot of lap time to Barrichello,” he said. “We called him into the pits for a precautionary check and found a problem with the right-front suspension pushrod that forced us to retire the car.
“Upon further investigation, it transpired that the pushrod had been touching on the chassis when running on very heavy fuel at the start of the race. This damaged the bolt that attaches the pushrod to the car, and meant we lost a shim from the suspension, causing the DNF. Robert preferred a slightly different ride height and was fortunate not to encounter the same problem.
“We are, of course, disappointed that we did not discover this problem during pre-season testing. The parts in question will be modified for the next race to ensure that it cannot recur.”