Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso on Thursday admitted he was surprised and disappointed at his Renault team's form this season ahead of his home Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.
After a strong finish last year, he expected Renault to make a good start this season, but instead they have been left chasing early-season victors Brawn GP.
The 27-year-old Spaniard said: "We had no big problems in the winter, so we arrived in Australia convinced we were ready to fight for podiums and it was not the case.
"It was a surprise how competitive some of the teams were in Australia. "We knew Brawn were quick in the last two tests and Red Bull, but we felt they were behind us.
"So, we started improving the car from Australia. We improved the car in China and had new parts in Bahrain and in Spain, so we have tried to catch up - but we were expecting more from the first four races and five points are not enough for the championship battle."
After the first four races, Alonso has scored just five points while Renault are 45 points adrift of leading constructors Brawn.
He added: "I don't think it is going to change much for us. We will improve the car from the last race, but it is difficult to simulate what will be the advantage, it will be one-tenth, two-tenths, who knows?
"And for this particular race everyone will introduce new parts for their cars. I think we will all move two- or three-tenths forward and the positions will remain more or less the same."