Renault are now confident that Red Bull can now challenge legitimately for podium places. After seeing Verstappen move up from 18th to 8th and Kvyat 12th to 4th during the Belgian Race. Seeing both drivers take on the might of Ferrari and Mercedes powered teams, just shows how far Renault have come this year. That is the thought of Renault Sport Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul who told RenaultSportF1:
“We saw Renault-powered cars taking both Ferrari and Mercedes-powered ones down the straights and fighting for position through the corners. We also scored two points finishes at the most power sensitive track of the season.
But we still had two DNFs, one of which cost a possible podium, which we need to fully understand. While there is room for improvement on reliability, on the performance front we are back in the fight for podiums and points with both teams."
However, five of the top 12 cars who started in the Belgian Grand Prix, retired at some stage. So one could argue that both Kvyat and Verstappen were very fortunate to progress.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing