'No disrespect': Daniel Ricciardo's 'bittersweet' Renault admission

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Pictured here, Daniel Ricciardo chats to reporters before the Russian GP.
Daniel Ricciardo admits his move from Renault to McLaren will be 'bittersweet'. Pic: Getty

Daniel Ricciardo insists he has no regrets about his move from Renault to McLaren in next year's Formula One championship.

The Australian driver shocked the motorsport world earlier in the year when he announced that he would be joining McLaren in 2021.

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The call left Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul disappointed at the time, but he will be happier after seeing the progress the French team has made over the course of this year.

Ricciardo's decision looked a wise one earlier in the year, with McLaren consistently outperforming Renault and the Aussie struggling at the French manufacturer.

However, from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards it's been a different story for Renault, with the team now breathing down McLaren's neck in the constructors' championship.

Ricciardo just missed out on a podium in Belgium as well as the Tuscan Grand Prix, with top-six finishes at the Italian GP and Russian GP.

The impressive run of results has seen Renault cut McLaren's advantage to just seven points in a closely fought battle for third place in the constructors' championship.

While the Aussie could be forgiven for having second thoughts about whether he made the right call by switching teams for 2021, Ricciardo is standing firmly by his decision.

"Obviously no disrespect to Renault, and where I currently am, but no I don't regret it," he said.

"Am I happy to see us progress? Absolutely.

"If it means that we've got Renault as a competitor next year to push McLaren further, then I think that's good for everyone. So no, I'm not regretting it.

"But I'm also not unhappy with the progress. I want to be racing at the front, and obviously every race in F1 is so important. So, every chance I get to do it, you know, the sooner the better.

"I am glad we're making progress and I feel a part of it, which is important as well for me, and I guess my growth as a driver."

The 31-year-old admits that leaving Renault at the end of the season will be a "bittersweet" feeling, but it's been business as usual for the driver and his team this year.

Daniel Ricciardo is seen here wearing a head set during the Tuscan GP.
Daniel Ricciardo is edging closer to his first podium finish with Renault in 2020. Pic: Getty

Ricciardo hoping to win bet with Renault team boss

"The team haven't shut me out with anything," he added.

"I've been doing simulator and all of that, so it's been really good to work with them - and I know for sure bittersweet.

"Especially for some guys in the team to know that I can't continue on after this year. But I'm going to give it a red hot crack until the last day."

Ricciardo is pushing hard to grab Renault's first podium finish in 2020 and subsequently win a bet with his team boss, who has agreed to get a tattoo if the Aussie succeeds.

“It’s a bit foggy, but I believe he chooses placement and size, and I choose the design,” Ricciardo said.

“We’ll clear that up. But it’s a tattoo and he does not have any, so it’s a big deal for Cyril.”

The Aussie said he doesn't yet have a tattoo design in mind, but will aim to make it as embarrassing as possible for his boss, if he can jag a podium finish in one of the seven remaining races.

“I don’t know, I think it will be something probably a little spontaneous, spur of the moment,” he said.

“But it’s got to be something funny that when he looks at it, he shakes his head and it’s like, ‘Remember those times?’ One of those ones.”

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