"I knew they would be competitive but I didn’t expect the performance they showed not only in the race but in qualifying. They certainly found a bit. It’s obviously encouraging for them, it’s a big result."
Highlighting a particular positive with the McLaren, Ricciardo added: "I didn’t have Lando directly in front of me, but he was just in front of [Sergio] Perez and just in front of [Valtteri] Bottas.
"I could see him a little bit as well, and I’ll probably say the same. The high-speed corners, I feel either everyone’s a bit stronger or it’s an area where we lack a little bit for now. So that seemed to be a strength for McLaren as well."
With Ricciardo finishing fourth and sixth at Spa Francorchamps and Monza respectively, two power-heavy circuits, Renault thrived on low-downforce set-ups, although less so at the latter.
Ricciardo explained this was track-specific with Spa, where the RS20 simply worked better with less downforce compared to Renault's rivals.
"I feel that we were able to make a lower downforce car work in Spa," added the 31-year-old.
"We ran less there than pretty much everyone else, with obviously some bigger gains in sector one and three and not a massive loss in sector two.
"Whereas at Monza, everyone runs low downforce so our gain in the straight was significantly smaller. Naturally, the cars with more downforce were able to carry a bit more through the medium and the high-speed."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.