Fernando Alonso says finishing seventh at a circuit like Spa-Francorchamps, particularly from 22nd on the grid, would have been "unthinkable a couple of months ago" for McLaren.
The Spaniard started the race from the very back after engine trouble during practice and qualifying saw his engine changed twice during the weekend.
However he managed to avoid early drama to get up to tenth on the opening lap before rising to a high of fourth when the red flag came out for Kevin Magnussen's scary high-speed crash on lap six.
Alonso would drop to seventh come the 44th and final lap as he admitted those behind were too quick, but hailed the result.
"It was a good race," he said after. "All the bad luck we had in the weekend concentrated in good luck in the race, with the incidents we avoided.
"We found ourselves in a good position, P4, but we could not hold Sebastian [Vettel], [Lewis] Hamilton and [Sergio] Perez, they were too fast.
"P7 is good points for the team. Top 10 yesterday in qualifying with Jenson [Button] and top 10 today, on a circuit like this, was unthinkable a couple of months ago, so very good news."
He believes the result is evidence of McLaren' and Honda's progress this season.
"We [would not have been] able to fight with Williams at Spa last time, we’re moving in the right direction, that’s for sure."
Button retired from the race on the opening lap after Manor's Pascal Wehrlein rear-ended his McLaren.