Up until the Belgian Grand Prix, 2020 had so far been a tepid season for Renault. The Anglo-French squad has arguably stagnated as perhaps the fifth or sixth-best Formula 1 team in recent years, fighting against an increasingly congested midfield.
Despite manufacturer backing, Renault has yet to score a single podium since returning to F1 as a works outfit, a statistic that will surely leave the team feeling slightly sore - especially as its engine department has helped McLaren claim two trips to the rostrum after recovering from the harrowing depths of its Honda tie-up.
But the latest race at Spa-Francorchamps was arguably Renault's closest sniff at a top-three finish yet. Hypothetically, had the race been two or three laps longer, Daniel Ricciardo had a very real chance of catching and passing former team-mate Max Verstappen as the Red Bull driver began to toil on his ageing hard tyres. Ricciardo's tyres were no spring chickens either, since the two drivers had pitted at the same time, but the Australian somehow kept enough life in them to swipe the fastest lap of the race on the final tour.