After Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner claimed Mercedes are trying to block Alexander Albon from joining Williams next season, Toto Wolff has denied that is the case.
Albon is currently in the running for a seat at Williams or Alfa Romeo, having spent this season as reserve driver for Red Bull.
Albon's preferred landing spot is Williams, however, while speaking with Sky Sports on Friday, Horner revealed that the Thai-British driver has received calls from Mercedes telling him not to join the team.
"I think his preference would be Williams, but he's had about four phone calls telling him not to go there from the team next door [Mercedes]," Horner stated. "I told him to ignore them.
"I really hope that Mercedes don't block his opportunity at Williams. [But] if he can't race next year, he'll still be with us in a test and reserve role because we rate him extremely highly."
Wolff responded by stating that while he is looking for F1 opportunities for Mercedes junior driver Nyck de Vries, who recently won the Formula E World Championship, he wouldn't do so by trying to block Albon's move to Williams.
"I think it's an ordinary course of business," Wolff stated while speaking with Formula1.com.
"Williams have a Mercedes engine, that is clear. We have Nyck de Vries, a Dutch driver that deserves to be in Formula 1 equally. He won us the Formula E World Championship just recently. So I guess this is two interested groups that just have to find a solution.
"I would never block someone like Albon. He's a fantastic guy, his personality is great.
"I was personally sad to see him go. If he has a chance [to be] driving in a Formula 1 car, I think that's the right thing to do. But equally, maybe Nyck has. So we need to look at the open spaces at Alfa and Williams and try to find a solution."
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