at the Nurburgring last month, as team’s contracted driver Ed Jones was unable to leave Dubai due to travel restrictions.
, as Jones dropped entirely out of the outfit’s expanded three-car line up for 2020.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s season opener at Spa-Francorchamps, Newey explained that a phone call between his father - Formula 1 design legend Adrian - and Berger on the opening day of the four-day test opened the door for a last-minute call-up, which eventually led to him securing the final seat on the grid.
“My dad was funnily enough on the phone to Gerhard and they were talking just rubbish.
“And then last minute Gerhard said there is some issue with WRT and there might be a seat available, maybe something Harrison could look into. And he told me in the evening after the first test day.
“So in the morning straight away I called Gerhard and said, ‘I absolutely want to be in the car, at least to get a test and show them what I can do’.
“He passed me over to team boss Vincent [Vosse]. I just explained to him, just tried to sell myself and [say] why I should come and do the test. And I think I managed to do an okay job, they said, ‘right, come over and do the last day’.
I knew the opportunity was for the seat, that there was a seat available, most likely going to be a seat available.
“It was very important for me to do jump in and do a good job straight away, to show them I deserve the seat and I was the man who can take that vacant seat.”
Harrison Newey, Audi Sport Team WRT