Nico Hulkenberg has denied that the start of Renault's 2019 campaign in Melbourne is "a disappointment".
"I can't see why it's a disappointment," the German driver told Canal Plus broadcaster. "Why do you say that?"
Indeed, Hulkenberg outqualified his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo, but the pair both missed out on 'Q3'.
"I don't think you can expect it," the German said when told that many expected Renault to be clearly leading the midfield.
"It wasn't realistic after the test days."
But Hulkenberg said that without car problems, he should have been in Q3 anyway.
"Without the problems, I could have made it to Q3 and split the two Haas'," he said.