Kamui Kobayashi says Renault is "too weak pace-wise" at the moment and is comfortably down on speed compared to Mercedes.

Renault has been beset by issues throughout pre-season testing so far, with a number of reliability issues restricting running. Although Caterham has completed the most mileage of any Renault-powered team, Kobayashi said the power unit still doesn't supply "proper power" and that the emphasis is on the teams to help Renault recover.

"I think this is what we have in hand right now, so we have to help them to be able to fight with the other engine manufacturers," Kobayashi said. "At the moment we are definitely too weak pace-wise. So we give the maximum chance to them and then afterwards of course we have to work on our car to see if we can do something different.

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"When I look at it coming out of the corner, definitely with this engine system there is not much chance to look at the car. So we are just waiting a little bit for the engine system to go well. And of course doing testing we meet some other cars and we can clearly see Mercedes cars going much faster on the straights - more than 20/30kmh faster than us.

"So I think it's going to be a different braking point and everything if we have proper power, so we will see what we can do in a short time. At the moment we are definitely quite late."

And Kobayashi also admitted that the current issues were likely to leave Renault-powered teams on the back foot at the start of the season.

"Of course there is a lot of advantage if they can do proper testing right now. I think that's probably going to ... we haven't even done practice starts. So we are quite late. I think nobody with the Renault engine did practice starts."