The tale of Renault in Formula 1's V6 turbo-hybrid era is a repetitive one in desperate need of a fresh plot. Mercedes stole a march on all its rivals from the beginning, and ever since then Renault's confident catch-up talk has been dispelled by missed targets, disappointment or a combination of the two. Its latest bout of positivity speaks of higher targets being met and bigger steps being made than ever before.
Arguably the biggest problem for Renault this year, following its Red Bull split, is that it has effectively been sidelined in the engine battle. It's very unlikely to be fighting for wins, and thus whatever progress has been made will be largely irrelevant. Neither the works team or McLaren look ready to be in victory contention, which means Mercedes, Ferrari and (who would have thought this 12 months ago?) Honda will be the manufacturers most pertinent to the 2019 season.
That doesn't mean Renault can't prove Red Bull wrong for switching to Honda, though, or that it has nothing to fight for. Its F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul declared a "substantial" step had been made with its 2019 engine, and, according to Renault, pre-season testing validated this progress. That would put it on course to cement its team as best of the rest, start to close the gap to Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, and set the tone for fighting for wins and ultimately the title.