Alex Albon has revealed he owes George Russell "a couple of beers" after securing his F1 return with Williams next season.
Williams confirmed on Wednesday Albon would replace Mercedes-bound Russell for 2022, ending a year on the sidelines after being dropped by Red Bull at the end of last season in favour of Sergio Perez.
Russell and Albon have forged a close friendship over the years, with the former putting in a good word for the Thai-British driver with the Williams board.
Asked by GPFans Global whether Russell had played any part in helping him secure the seat, Albon said: "He was very supportive.
"Obviously George is a close friend of mine, but I would almost say too supportive as I remember the board guys saying 'We can't really take George's opinion because he is so supportive of you'. They were very friendly about that.
"But I owe him a couple of beers. Hopefully, we can grab dinner tonight and celebrate our moves together."
Over the past nine months since learning of his fate with Red Bull, Albon has acted as reserve for the team, in tandem with driving in DTM with the Alfa Romeo AF Corse squad.
Conceding the past year has been "tricky", he added: "Just watching from the sidelines is never fun but I'm very thankful and very excited to get back into it."
Albon had a choice between Williams and Alfa Romeo, and while conceding both "are great teams", the choice was relatively straightforward in the end.
"With Williams, they look like they are on the up," he said. "They've obviously got the investment coming in
"I had the chance to listen to the team and they seem very positive, optimistic, and they're very keen to talk to me and to get involved in making things happen.
"It seemed like a great choice to get back onto the grid. It's another opportunity."