Daniel Ricciardo says he and Renault have “moved on” from his decision to switch to McLaren next year ahead of the start of the new season.

The Australian says he’s “excited to get racing” in Austria next weekend and “it’s really back to business”.

“Maybe the first time I see some people there might be that moment of perhaps, I don’t know if the word is awkwardness,” Ricciardo said.

“But from my side it’s been put behind me and it’s not in my thoughts.

Ricciardo’s switch for next season – before any racing had happened in the coronavirus-delayed 2020 championship – was one of a series of moves triggered by Ferrari’s decision last month not to retain Sebastian Vettel after the end of this year.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz is moving to Ferrari for 2021, and Ricciardo will replace the Spaniard.

That means Ricciardo, Sainz and Vettel all head into the new season knowing they will not be staying with their current teams beyond the end of the year.

Ricciardo said: “Time has passed since the news now. I have spoken to if not seen some members of the team.

“Hopefully we get a bundle of races and get a chance to finish this out strong.

“We’ll just get on with it. I have spent a couple of days in the simulator and seen a few people around the factory and no black eyes or punches in the stomach so I think we’re all moving on and will give it our all for the rest of the year.”

Renault F1 team boss Cyril Abiteboul said there would be no preferential treatment for Ricciardo’s new team-mate Esteban Ocon, who starts on a minimum two-year contract with the French team.


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