Renault has launched a defence of its power units after stating the shortfalls discovered at the Formula 1 season opener were engine and chassis problems.

The French engine supplier feels it was a combination of issues which meant the team fell behind rivals Mercedes, rather than the power unit being solely to blame.

"Australia certainly wasn't an easy weekend and we fell short of our own expectations, and those of our clients," Cyril Abiteboul, Renault Sport's managing director said. "Our figures have shown that the laptime deficit between Red Bull and Mercedes in Melbourne was equally split between driveability issues, engine performance and chassis performance.

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"We need to work together to understand our issues, both within the power unit and the chassis."

The Renault Energy F1-2015 power unit had a debut Grand Prix to forget with its highest-placed finisher Daniel Ricciardo coming home in sixth, a whole lap behind the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr finished in ninth place, also a lap down on the leaders, while Max Verstappen had to retire after 32 laps with engine issues.

The nightmare first race was compounded by Daniil Kvyat's failure to start the Grand Prix after coming to a halt on the sighting lap.

As a result, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner pointed the finger at the French engine suppliers for a serious lack of reliability and performance.

Abiteboul has refuted these claims and believes to two teams should share the blame and work together to make improvements ahead of the second round in Malaysia.

"It's therefore the overall package that needs some help and we have been working with the team to move forward," he added. "We've been particularly aggressive in development and we should see the results a lot more clearly in Malaysia, particularly since we have had the opportunity to refine the power unit using the data from Australia.

"Work is still ongoing but even now we are in a completely different place to where we finished Melbourne."