Max Verstappen has hailed the "daring" decision by Dr Helmut Marko to sign Nyck de Vries for AlphaTauri.
The current Mercedes reserve will swap stables and join Red Bull's sister team for 2023 after impressing on debut when standing in for Alex Albon at Williams for the Italian Grand Prix.
De Vries, who is a former Formula E and F2 champion, has allowed Pierre Gasly to leave AlphaTauri a year early to replace Fernando Alonso at Alpine and form an all-French partnership with Esteban Ocon.
Dutchmen Verstappen and de Vries have been spotted talking to each other in both the Italian and Singapore Grands Prix paddocks as speculation over the latter's future grew.
Asked for his feelings on de Vries being handed his first full-time chance in F1, Verstappen replied: "Of course, I knew this already… it was coming.
"But yeah, of course, this is incredible for him. He's been pushing hard for it for a long time and to finally get that opportunity is amazing for him.
"But also, I think after Monza, there was no real discussion anymore, I think. Helmut is the guy, when he likes something he is daring enough to then put him in the car, right, whereas maybe other teams are a bit more careful.
"That's great news. We are good friends as well."
Suggesting he played a part in the negotiations, Verstappen added: "We had a dinner the day after Monza and I told him, like, just give him [Dr Marko] a call.
"You never know what happens and it was also the right time to call him, so Helmut is still probably excited on a Monday from the race on a Sunday, so it worked out really well and I'm very happy for him."