With the team continuing to improve as the season wears on, Renault chief engineer Alan Permane says the team is now focused on more than just getting ahead of Mercedes in the F1 constructors championship race.

Beating Mercedes has been the main aim for the team in recent events, with Renault taking nine points out of their rival during the European Grand Prix in Valencia.

While Renault remains fifth in the standings heading to Silverstone this week, Permane said he felt the team wasn't only capable of getting ahead of Mercedes, but was also close to being able to match McLaren and Ferrari for pace.

"We've made up ground on Mercedes and we're solidly the fourth quickest team at the moment," he said. "There's still a long way to go to catch up with Red Bull, but we're just behind McLaren and Ferrari and if we can keep improving the car like we've done so far, we can expect to be on terms with them soon."

Team boss Eric Boullier said he was pleased with the way in which the team had worked to improve the R30 during the season to date but admitted the time had almost arrived when Renault would need to make a decision on how much focus to give the current car compared to its 2011 machine,

"At the beginning of the season we had a reasonable performance level with R30 and we knew that we needed to push hard to develop the car," he said. "Everyone in the team has risen to the challenge and we have seen the result of all this effort at the track with the car improving race by race. So, yes, I'm pleased that we have made good progress and I hope that we can maintain this for the rest of the year.

"It's clear we need to keep pushing hard because we're still not quick enough to challenge for pole and race wins, and we know that we need to keep up this work rate because Formula 1 is so competitive these days and all our competitors are working hard to improve their cars as well. But at the same time it's important that we look ahead to next year and we must not neglect the development of the 2011 car, which is already well underway. We need to find the right balance of resources and that is a decision we have to make in the coming weeks."