Remi Taffin is confident Renault will continue bringing down the gap to Mercedes power © Getty Images

Renault believes it was "90% of the way" to a complete recovery in Spain and expects a significant improvement in time for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Since struggling badly during the pre-season tests Renault has made steady progress in the opening five races of the season, with third for Daniel Ricciardo in Barcelona another step towards challenging Mercedes. While its power unit is clearly still lacking to Mercedes, especially in terms of straight-line speed, Renault's head of track operations Remi Taffin feels it is close to closing the gap completely.

"A podium for Daniel and a strong, fighting fourth for Sebastian is as much as we could have hoped for this weekend," Taffin said. "The Mercedes obviously have a very good overall package and are out in front, but there is very little between the next four teams and we saw some great battles for position. This in itself shows that the engine race is a lot closer than at previous races and there is everything to play for.

"On another note it is rewarding to see Lotus back in the fight on genuine pace. Unfortunately for Toro Rosso and Caterham though the speed just wasn't there and it was difficult to make any headway."

Renault hopes to put the in-season test due to take place in Barcelona this week to good effect and Taffin is certain the manufacturer can be even closer by Monaco.

"Overall we made good progress this weekend with energy and fuel management and the driveability of the power unit has been improved. I'd say we are about 90% of the way on our recovery now, with final refinements to come. We'll test these next week and are confident we'll introduce another step forward for Monaco."

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