Daniel Ricciardo says he appreciates the level of “respect and maturity” he has received from the Red Bull Formula 1 team since announcing he will join Renault in 2019.

Ricciardo’s bombshell announcement that he will leave Red Bull upon the expiration of his contract at the end of the season in favour of a switch to current midfield outfit Renault set off an unprecedented chain reaction of driver moves during the summer break.

The Australian admits he was pleasantly surprised not to have received an awkward reception on his return to the Milton Keynes squad when the 2018 campaign resumed at the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August.

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"I'm happy to say it was really minimal, minimal awkwardness,” Ricciardo told media ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza. “On Thursday I was expecting some level whether it was from the team or from the media, but even the press conference was pretty tame and not too many people dug too deep.

“People seemed respectful and understood it. I had a chance to see Christian and that in the factory before the weekend so I had a chance to address some of the guys then.

"But with the mechanics and everyone they all understood it. I think the main thing for them was it wasn't personal, it wasn't because one of the mechanics pissed me off and I was just like 'right, I'm leaving!'.

“A lot of people in Formula 1, whether it's drivers, mechanics, engineers, they've moved a lot and switched teams so a lot of them could relate. It was really as smooth as I could ask for. It was quite nice to have that level or respect and maturity."

Ricciardo leaves a team that has been able to challenge for victories throughout the V6 hybrid era to one currently yet to achieve a podium finish since returning as a works outfit in 2016, though Renault is currently leading the close battle over fourth place in the constructors’ standings.

He insisted he has not had any post-signature blues since making his decision to leave Red Bull, adding he has already switched his mindset to thinking about the long-term project of helping Renault get back into championship contention.

"I'm aware that at the moment the structure at Red Bull is stronger,” he said. “I've certainly switched my mindset to a longer-term project, to yellow. I felt good when I signed it. I feel I know what I'm getting in to."

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