Williams driver, Alex Albon, has revealed that his former Red Bull team, as well as good friend George Russell, played a role in his signature with the British side.
The Thai-Briton joined Red Bull from Toro Rosso midway through the 2019 season when Pierre Gasly was dropped, but two podiums in a year-and-a-half saw him dropped at the end of 2020.
Albon spent a year racing with AlphaTauri in DTM, winning a race at the Nürburgring, alongside his commitments as test and reserve driver to Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
The 26-year-old was looking for a way back into F1 during his year our, and that materialised when Williams came knocking.
Williams are a Mercedes customer team, so there were reports that the German manufacturer did not want a Red Bull-backed driver racing for the Grove-based outfit, but those links have now been severed.
That did not stop Christian Horner and Dr Helmut Marko putting in a good word to Williams boss, Jost Capito, for their former racer.
“I know they both also convinced Jost to take me, I’m sure – I know – they also told Jost the job I was doing,” Albon told the BBC.
“That bit is very important. I knew whatever I did last year, I had to also have Christian and Helmut really value what I do.
“Because I couldn’t drive the car…a lot of this paddock is gossip, and it’s talking and trust, and I need to make sure they truly believe in me and will support me.
“Because if there wasn’t any space in the Red Bull team, I’m still going to rely on them to have a good word for me to wherever I go or whatever I do.”
Albon replaced Russell, who completed his final season with Williams last term before moving up to Mercedes, and those two have a good relationship from their junior days.
The current Williams man reckons that the 24-year-old will also have let the higher-ups know how highly he rates his friend.
“He played a part for sure, he got my name on the map,” added Albon.
“I’ve raced against George for a lot of my career and I’m in a very thankful position where he respects, or believes in, my ability.
“He did mention my name a few times to Jost and the board. I joked about it but it’s true – almost a bit too much, to the point where they said they wouldn’t listen to him!”
Albon has scored points three times this season for Williams, in an impressive campaign that has earned him a new contract.