Renault team boss Eric Boullier insists that the team has to improve if it is to stand any chance of beating Mercedes to fourth in the constructors' championship standings.

Renault has managed only eight in the last five races to drop 30 points behind Mercedes, who have scored 46 points over the same period. At Spa alone, where Renault scored two points through Vitaly Petrov but saw Bruno Senna down in 13th on his debut, Mercedes extended its lead by 16 points.

Speaking ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Boullier admitted that the Belgian race could have been better in terms of points, but said there was plenty of promise for the team to carry into final European event of the year.

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"Sportingly, it could have been a better weekend because we had one car in the low points and the other not scoring any which is not sufficient if we're going to chase down Mercedes GP in fourth place," he said. "However, all in all it was a good weekend; we had a very respectable qualifying session and Bruno stepped into the cockpit successfully. These aspects were quite promising; it was encouraging for the team to be able to see the cars delivering and their work bearing fruit.

"I think the positive energy really came about after qualifying because everyone knows it is extremely challenging for a new driver to step in. Seeing the team applauding the drivers after Q2 and Q3 was a good sign; I was very happy to see that, and it was pleasing to see smiles back on the team's faces."

Boullier added that he expected this weekend's race to give a better indication of the effect of bringing in Senna for the remainder of the season alongside Vitaly Petrov and said he was hopeful of solid points for both drivers.

"It's difficult to draw too much from one race alone (Spa), whether that's in terms of who is in the race seat or the effect of the upgrade package, but Monza should give us a clearer indication as to how things are going," he said. "Monza is always a difficult track because it requires a low downforce set-up; it has high speed corners and high speed straights. After the steps we made in Spa, I'm confident we will have a progressive weekend in Italy too."