Daniel Ricciardo says he is not disheartened that at present he is not even driving for the best Renault-powered team.
The Australian left Red Bull last year to join the works Renault team, but so far even Renault customer McLaren appears to have the upper hand.
"I won't say I'm surprised by McLaren," he is quoted by France's Auto Hebdo.
"Congratulations to them, they've progressed well since last year. We want to be better.
"But it's also encouraging from the point of view of Renault and the power unit. It's good to have more competition in the middle of the pack."
Ricciardo is putting a brave face on Renault's situation, with the team announcing a major personnel reshuffle on the eve of the Spanish GP weekend.
"2021 will be the real change so we are doing some things now, and later in the year, that will help. When I joined the team, I saw that they are exploring every possibility and that is encouraging," he said.
"I don't need to know all the details right now except that Renault is trying to evolve and grow as a team."