Renault has reset its horizons this season, having capitulated to the inevitable: its stated aim to be challenging for world championships within five years of re-acquiring 'Team Enstone' was unachievable.
Had its gameplan panned out, it would have been there or thereabouts right now. Instead it faces two huge and intertwined challenges: building a more competitive car by eliminating persistent flaws in the design process, and convincing its marquee driver signing to stay on as he comes to the end of his contract.
Daniel Ricciardo could still slot in at Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari, even though the latter two have tied Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc to long-term deals. But all three berths would likely involve Ricciardo having to accept number-two status. Still, there are others who would be interested in having a tigerish race-winner on their books - particularly McLaren, which held talks with Ricciardo in 2018 and is now at a more attractive point on its competitiveness trajectory than it was then.