Remi Taffin says Renault is expecting the performance of the three different engines to be much closer at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Renault has made significant strides with its new engine following a tough pre-season, with Red Bull challenging for the podium at each of the last three races and Lotus showing clear improvement in China. Taffin says Renault will be looking to build on that progress with more updates in Spain and is confident of showing just how close to matching Mercedes and Ferrari it is.

"The Spanish Grand Prix will be the second stage of the performance evolutions we kick-started in China," Taffin said. "While there are not many visible hardware upgrades, there are significant improvements to the software that should further enhance driveability and therefore overall performance. Yet again we have also moved forward in energy management and efficiency so we are hopeful our upward trend will continue in Barcelona.

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"The circuit itself is one of the medium demand tracks. Despite not visiting the track this year in testing it is primarily straightforward to prepare and we don't expect any surprises. With three weeks between China and Spain we've made a huge amount of progress and in fact this race may well show that the 'engine race' is a lot closer since it is much more representative of the average characteristics of the majority of tracks in the next part of the season."

Taffin also believes the track characteristics at the Circuit de Catalunya will play in to Renault's hands more than at previous venues.

"It is relatively easy to recover energy in Barcelona, thanks to the tight corners such as Turn 10 and the chicane where the driver will brake heavily. Both will give the MGU-K a chance to recharge while the long pit straight allows the MGU-H not to drain the battery fully. With a variety of different speed corners fuel consumption isn't expected to be a major problem here.

"The key areas to performance are instead good PU response in the quick corners such as Turn 3 and Turn 8 while retaining good rear stability under braking and the downshifts in the slower corners such as Turn 10.

"We have worked hard on these areas in the past three weeks and we therefore go to Spain more confident of a good performance."