Alexander Albon says he was "happy to do" what Daniel Ricciardo wouldn't in securing a Formula 1 race seat after a stint as a reserve driver.
Ricciardo lost his race drive at McLaren at the end of 2022 following poor performances, instead returning to Red Bull in a third driver capacity to Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
It is the exact same role Albon filled during the 2021 campaign before he returned to the Grand Prix grid with Williams in time for the start of '22.
However despite both drivers losing seats and spending time as a reserve, Albon believes the two situations are not similar - as he was willing to drop down the field in order to return.
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Albon shares Ricciardo difference
"To be honest, I haven't spoken with him since [his] year away [was announced]," Albon told media including RacingNews365.com.
"Mine wasn't my choice, [whereas] his one is and I think he's a different age and in a different frame of mind.
"When I was away from Formula 1, I think I was 24 years old, and there was a lot of hunger and desire to get back into F1 - and I don't know as I can only speak for myself - but I imagine Daniel, who has been a very successful racing driver, probably wouldn't want to join a team unless it was a top team.
"It would be like he's just restarting his racing career again, which being like myself, I am more than happy to do.
"I would do it 10 times over, and think that's really the main difference."
After being dumped by McLaren, Ricciardo's options of staying on the grid were limited with Haas and Williams likely berths for the Australian.
However, he admitted he didn't want to drop to a team in the lower midfield and believed a top drive would be more suitable.
With all the big three teams locked into their driver line-ups, and Alpine not keen on having him back, a third driver slot become the likely option, with a deal struck with Red Bull to see him return in that position announced shortly after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
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