Nico Hulkenberg says his run to sixth on the grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix proves Renault's latest upgrades have made the RS17 a much more competitive package.

The German qualified seventh for the Budapest race, though will start in 12th position after a gearbox change on Friday forced him to take a five place grid penalty.

Nevertheless, Hulkenberg - who finished a season's best sixth last time out at Silverstone when the latest upgrades were introduced - is thrilled to see his continued competitiveness in Hungary appears to represent a genuine step forward with the car.

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"I'm very happy. I think it's very encouraging. Obviously what helps is it's very low power-sensitive in power-sensitivity. That definitely plays to the car a bit. Overall, the Silverstone update was verified here definitely. It's a step forward for us and car perofrmance and chracteristics. Very pleased with how the car feels.

"Definitely this weekend we seem to be very competitive. After this we have Spa and Monza, two massive power tracks. It might be a bit trickier there. But in terms of rear grip and balance, I think we made a big step forwards. It will be interesting to see but for sure, that remains the ambition and the target to bring ourselves there."