Daniel Ricciardo doesn't believe Sebastian Vettel is leaving Red Bull as a result of being beaten by his team-mate this season.

With four races remaining, Ricciardo is currently third in the drivers' championship and 54 points clear of Vettel having taken three victories to his team-mate's none. However, Ricciardo says he has been impressed with the way Vettel has handled a tough season - having won the last four world titles - and says he hasn't let any frustration impact on their driver partnership.

"He has been fair with me from day one and after the third win still very fair and respectful," Ricciardo said. "As the season has gone on, I'm sure he would love a win, so maybe there is a bit more inside of him feeling frustration but I wouldn't say that has been displayed in any meetings or anything I have seen.

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"I am sure deep down he wants to get a win this year, so when you see a team-mate winning races and you're not, you are naturally frustrated. To his credit, he hasn't taken anything out on me or the team. Maybe behind closed doors, but not visible to any of us. I think he has controlled it well."

And Ricciardo said Vettel's decision to leave Red Bull had not taken him by surprise, as he feels his team-mate is moving on to a new project while he is still young.

"With Seb leaving, I was pretty open to anything in terms of news I was going to receive. I expected him to stay, I expected him to leave, so I wasn't shocked when he announced he was leaving. The way I see it, I guess he has done four titles with Red Bull and he has an opportunity elsewhere before he sees himself getting too old for the sport, he wants another challenge."