Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has revealed Sebastian Vettel's F1 career could have been very different had he signed the German back in the mid-2000s.
Vettel made his debut by deputising for Robert Kubica in 2007 after the then-BMW Sauber driver's horrific crash at the Canadian Grand Prix.
After scoring points at Indianapolis, Red Bull placed Vettel at Toro Rosso to replace American Scott Speed and he would go on to impress - not least by securing a remarkable victory at the Italian Grand Prix in 2008.
A step up to Red Bull would bring four championships between 2010 and 2013 to establish his legacy, before stints at Ferrari and Aston Martin before announcing his retirement at the end of the current season.
But revealing a story about Vettel whilst acting in a management position at Honda, Szafnauer suggested the career path could have been far removed from the eventual success story.
"I have known him since he was 18 or 19 years old," explained Szafnauer.
"I was at Honda Racing and we had just had [sporting director] Gil de Ferran.
"Seb came up to me and said 'I have got a two-week window...' and he was a young... I forgot how old he was, 'I have a two-week window where I am out of contract with both Red Bull and BMW, so are you interested in signing me?'
"He was an unknown quantity then but I was like 'yeah, this kid is good'.
"So I went to Gil and I said 'we have a two-week window to sign Seb Vettel' and he was like 'don't worry, I have got my eye on him'.
'What do you mean you have got your eye on him? We have got two weeks!'
"Anyway, we didn't sign him."
Additional reporting by Ian Parkes