Renault are an interesting team. Since their return, taking over Lotus in 2016, they have actually often underwhelmed. Even in the stellar Red-Bull chassis the engine has been quite slow at times and often unreliable. Yet, this was always going to be a long road and, as most predicted, they have done much better this year. There have been consistent strong point-scoring finishes from Hulkenberg.
They are certainly on the way to reaching their target of challenging for regular podiums and the occasional win by 2020. By signing Daniel Ricciardo they have made a huge statement of intent. He and Hulkenberg, who are both amazing drivers, will push each-other to the limit. If their 2019 car turns out very well, which by current progress is entirely possible, they WILL make the most of Red-Bull's potential fall under Honda power and pick up the fight for podiums next season.
Ricciardo is certainly playing the long-game. Hoping that Renault, as a manufacturer, will now surpass his old team and head for even loftier heights. He (like all F1 drivers) said he wants a championship as soon as possible. Renault are currently the team with the best chance of entering that big discussion. Especially if our sport remains hard on customer teams and closed to the idea of giving the teams far more equal cars to let the driver shine instead of the machine. Then again, if such a massive change did occur...you'd be a bit of a fool to bet against Daniel up against anyone else on more equal terms.