"Not only has our reliability improved and taken us to the end of the race, but our performance has also stepped up so that we are able to fight at the front," said operations director Remi Taffin. "We know we still have a lot of work to do, but this strong result before the summer break is a real achievement," added the Frenchman.

"We know where we are going and realise that there is still some more progress to be made in order to achieve these results on a regular basis. But, for the second part of the season, we look forward to showing off the progress we have made so far."

While Ferrari won with Sebastian Vettel, Renault-powered Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo were second and third with Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen fourth. Much of that was down to the Mercedes pairing of world champion Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg making poor starts and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen losing engine power while running second.

The slow and twisty Hungary circuit also played to Red Bull's strengths and helped minimise the power deficit to  Mercedes. But Red Bull and Renault, who have been at loggerheads after another disappointing start to the season, recognised progress was being made.

"Even though for sure this circuit suits our car more, I did feel like we've taken a step forward and the updates and everything we brought over the last two races, we made them work in the right way this weekend," said Ricciardo.

"As we saw in the last part of the race, we had the pace to win. We were there, fighting for it so I think from Renault's side, from the team's side, it's been our best weekend yet," added the Australian. "I'm proud for everyone in the team to show that and show some progress and maybe we won't get asked so many questions now in Spa."

Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul said performance would improve "as we tune up engine power with more confidence on reliability." Renault are expected to announced in the coming weeks whether they intend to buy a team, with Lotus looking the most likely option, remain merely an engine provider or pull out entirely.

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