Last season, Renault battled with Haas for fourth place in the constructor's standings, coming out on top in the fight after a less than stellar second half of the season for the American team.
This year, Ricciardo will face a difficult challenge after his move away from Red Bull but believes that closing the gap is a possibility if the team can develop the R.S.19 efficiently.
"Our main target is to finish fourth or even better this year," he told L'Equipe.
"The gap with the top-three is big, and it's not going to decrease overnight. It must be addressed by developing the car.
"Speaking with Nico [Hulkenberg] and understanding how the team works, I know that last year's development pace wasn't as good as they expected it to be.
"We must understand what the car needs but also make sure that the necessary evolutions are implemented as quick as possible. It will be a crucial factor in our ability to bridge the gap."
Winter testing times from the midfield teams indicate the battle behind the top teams will be tighter than ever but the Australian wouldn't be drawn into predicting where Renault would be come Melbourne.
"It’s impossible to make accurate performance predictions. We still have work to do and things to improve on and that’s what we’ll focus on now.
"We are making progress but the bigger steps will happen gradually going forward. I’m heading to Melbourne feeling that I belong here and I just want to go racing now!"