Renault's stuttering progress back towards the front of the grid has been a persistent thread within Formula 1's tangled narratives since the company returned as a manufacturer in 2016. It's taken tentative steps up the order only to slip back again - particularly whenever it approaches that unbridgeable chasm which has existed between F1's top three teams and the gaggle of midfielders seemingly doomed to hope, at best, for fourth.
Sceptics have, rightly, asked questions: was Renault too optimistic in expecting to return to winning ways within a five-year timespan? In thinking it could do so while spending less than the top three? In persisting with engine and chassis manufacturing operations in different countries?
Indubitably these were the right questions to ask - but, amid the many curveballs 2020 has thrown at the world championship, the competitive picture is changing. Renault has emerged as a strong contender for what might, given Ferrari's implosion, become third place.