Renault’s Jolyon Palmer says that the upgraded power unit he received this weekend is a good step forward for Renault, as the French constructor aim to become a regular in the midfield battle.

Palmer finished the second practice session down in 20th position, although despite a low placing Friday, the Briton is confident he can make up ground on Saturday.

“It’s clearly more powerful and it’s a good step,” Palmer said.

“We’ve got more to come tomorrow so today we were quite conservative on it. Didn’t do a lot of laps with it, but it’s definitely good.

Teammate Kevin Magnussen received the upgraded power unit last round at the Monaco Grand Prix and also hailed it a success, even around a chassis dominated track.

“I would say this circuit the driveability is quite hard, it’s very bumpy here, so that makes traction generally tougher but certainly there’s no problem with it, yeah overall there’s definitely a big gain,” Palmer continued.

“I think our biggest problem is kerb riding which is quite important around here, so we split the setup quite a lot on the two cars and we’ll try and push together the data and see what’s better for tomorrow. I think, not easy, but on the timesheets I’m confident I can be a lot higher than that anyway.”

While Red Bull is enjoying more success with Renault’s power unit due to their superior chassis, Renault still have a lot to develop throughout the rest of 2016 to optimise their package and bring it up to speed with their power unit.

“Certainly the aero on Red Bull would be a huge gain [for us] and then it’s a snowball effect, you can work the tyres better, you can chose a better operating window for them. And yeah, compliance especially around here and Monaco where they were very quick is almost number one, because every single corner here you’re battering over kerbs and that’s where I think at the moment we’re a little bit behind.”

Image via Renault Sport F1

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