Alex Albon says he owes his good friend George Russell "a couple of beers" for strongly urging Williams to include the Red Bull charger in its 2022 line-up.
Albon will return to Formula 1 next season with the Grove-based outfit after a year on the sidelines. The Anglo-Thai driver was at the top of Williams' shortlist of potential candidates to replace the Mercedes-bound Russell.
The two drivers have been friends since their karting days together and graduated to F1 in 2018 after racing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship which Russell won.
The future Mercedes driver therefore didn't hesitate to put in more than a good word to his Williams bosses for Albon who admitted that his old friend had almost been "too supportive".
"Obviously George is a close friend of mine," Albon said.
"I would almost say [he was] too supportive, as I remember that the board guys saying like, 'you know we can't really take George's opinion because he's so supportive of you', so it was very funny about that.
"I said I owe him a couple of beers. Hopefully we'll grab dinner and we can celebrate our moves together."
Russell will move on to greener pastures next season with Mercedes, but the Briton is convinced that his seat at Williams will be filled by the right man next year.
"I’m extremely happy to see Alex back in Formula 1, I truly believe he deserves a chance on this grid," he said.
"I really think he is one of the best drivers, even though he had a really tough time at Red Bull. Williams is absolutely the right place for him to go and develop.
"I’ve been there for the past three years, I know how the team are, I know how Jost [Capito] operates as well, and obviously I know Alex really well as well.
"So I’m sure they’ll be a successful combination."