Lando Norris has revealed he had "little chats here and there" with rival F1 teams before signing his new four-year deal with McLaren.
The contract, which ties the Briton in with the Woking-based organisation to the end of 2025, was announced ahead of McLaren's 2022 car launch.
Norris' extension is just reward for another impressive season that saw him join F1's elite in just his third year of competition, clinching a maiden pole position in Russia and narrowly missing out on victory at the same race whilst consistently proving to be the only driver able to battle with Mercedes and Red Bull.
With his stock rising and other teams seeing contracts running down for their drivers, Norris would have been high on the list for most outfits, with Red Bull known to be keen admirers.
Asked if the new deal was to ward off interest, Norris answered: "Yes, I would say so.
"I think there were opportunities that we knew would be coming up in the future with various teams.
"This is a very strong message to put across to everyone that the faith we have in each other and how strongly I believe McLaren can recover still and get to the front in the next few years, even with those opportunities that could arise in one year, two years', three years' time."
On whether talks took place with other teams, Norris replied: "There were little chats here and there but that is all. Nothing went far.
"As soon as something came up, that is when I would continue to go to Andreas [Seidl, team principal] and have a little conversation about what our future holds and so on.
"There were little things - no point lying about it - there were things in there with various other teams but nothing that went far at all."
Asked to disclose which teams were interested, Norris said: "That is something I can't say. You would probably be able to guess reasonably well."