After the first three races of the season, McLaren are separated by three places and as many points to the French-works team. But, when asked by RaceFans if Renault are the first target McLaren want to beat, de Ferran replied:
"Personally, I don't look at it that way. Renault has done a great job for us this year as a power unit partner. They have definitely made a step forward and delivered us a more powerful power unit and I think our objective is just to keep moving up regardless of who's ahead.
"I cast my mind back to when I was a driver. Some people like to focus on one enemy. I don't think that way. We as a group can only control what we do and that's what we need to stay focused on and continue to move forward. And, frankly, no restil until we are P1 and P2."
De Ferran believes the progress is evident to see at McLaren, ever since its split from former engine supplier, Honda, at the end of the 2017 season.
"Working day in and day out feels like it has," de Ferran continued. "Obviously, we are not fighting for wins at this point, but I think that we have evolved a little bit in our understanding of what we need to do and what we need from a Formula 1 car.
"This car feels like it's a little bit of a step forward relative to last year. But we are certainly under no illusions. We still know there is a lot of work ahead of us, I've been saying that throughout winter testing and the first few races and that mindset hasn't changed."