Robert Kubica has warned that getting Renault back to the front cannot be achieved overnight as the squad has fallen a long way since its title-winning glory days.
The team was only eighth in last year's constructors' championship, and was rocked by the fallout from the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix scandal.
Kubica said that although Renault was winning championships just four years ago, the team was realistic about its current position and not underestimating the task ahead.
"We will need time, we are starting from far behind looking at the end of last year - and I think most of the teams have based their cars on last year's cars or trying to follow what was the quickest car last year," he said. "So we will have to make sure that we have got a development programme and we are trying to catch up.
"Everybody in Renault knows that the time of winning the world championship is far behind. We have to be realistic and last year Renault was I think quite disappointing. So we will have to make sure that we do a better job than last year."
But he was pleased that he was able to acclimatise to the team very rapidly after joining from BMW at the end of 2009.
"From a team perspective I was very happy with what I got from Renault," Kubica said. "The time needed to integrate and get on well with the team was short. We could straightaway get on with working on getting a feel for the car.
"But testing is a bit different, so for sure in the races there will be a few things that will be new and we'll have to get used to them."
The Pole was reluctant to predict where the team stood at this stage.
"I think it's difficult to judge where we are and where we will be. I really have no idea where we stand," said Kubica. "Of course we can have some ideas, and we have seen some things in the tests - for example at Jerez we were very good in my opinion, then at Barcelona not so good. So it's very difficult to see. Also you never know what stage of development the other teams are at.
"I think we need to wait a couple of races to see. But of course a good start to the season will help. In winter testing I think we did achieve most of what we planned to do, so we are ready."