Williams CEO Jost Capito has revealed a recommendation of Alex Albon from departing driver George Russell "confirmed" the team had made the right decision.
Russell will leave Williams to join Mercedes next season after three years with the team.
In 2018, Russell, Albon and Lando Norris joined the sport having climbed the ranks together in junior categories.
"I built a very close relationship with George through this season," said Capito.
"We work very well together and of course he told me about what he thinks about Alex and that they are personal friends as well.
“So I had to be, whilst of course it is very much appreciated what George thinks about Alex, on the other hand I had to be very rational about it, how to evaluate which driver is the right driver for us.
“I wouldn’t say it influenced, but it confirmed that we had taken the right decision.”
Williams aim to build around Albon
Williams is keen to avoid becoming somewhat of a driver merry-go-round and asked if Albon was a driver the team could build around into the future, he explained: “At the moment I wouldn’t see why not.
"It would be nice if it turns out like this, but in racing, you never know.
“A lot of things can happen but that was part of our choice, was somebody who we can build a team with and already still has experience with a young age.
“I think he has fantastic experience. He went through a lot, he had his ups and his downs that have made him very mature as a driver and he is from an age that I think he has the best still to come and that was what was one of the major decision points.”
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