Renault Sport managing director Cyril Abiteboul says he remains confident Renault will successfully halve the deficit to Mercedes in time for the opening F1 race in Australia.

The French firm is under pressure to bring its power unit up to standard after a tough 2014 season and has set itself the target of significantly closing the gap to Mercedes before this season begins, an objective that began badly in Jerez as Red Bull suffered with persistent gremlins.

Nonetheless, despite a similarly slow start at the Circuit de Catalunya, Red Bull and Toro Rosso would enjoy a productive four days accumulating mileage on the engine to ensure reliability - a particular area of weakness for Renault in 2014 -, completing a full 787 laps with 'no major issue'.

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Though Abiteboul admits it remains difficult to gauge exactly how Renault is faring against Mercedes and Ferrari at this stage, he feels it is making a step forward and closing the gap to its main rival.

"Our main objective in Barcelona, which was outlined and shared with our partners, was to accumulate as many kilometres as possible in order to continue improving reliability. Without a single major issue for either team it's an area that we're completely satisfied with.

"Equally, the test validated a certain number of measures implemented since Jerez, which have proven conclusive. On a human level it's also been satisfying to see our technical staff working ever more closely with our partner teams. The results have been very positive.

"Regarding performance, of course it's still a bit early to make a proper judgement as it's always relative and we don't know what the competition is doing. On our side, we didn't spend the test chasing lap times. Such aggressive and uncompromising development programmes, both in terms of chassis and the Power Unit, as well as new parts arriving at the last minute, also make it difficult to draw conclusions.

"Saying that, we're still confident of achieving our target: reducing our Power Unit deficit to Mercedes by half for the first grand prix. Our reinforced partnership with Red Bull is also moving in the right direction, and the overall situation looks encouraging."