Aston Martin reserve driver Felipe Drugovich has revealed talks were held with Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko following his F2 title triumph.
The Brazilian eased to championship success this season with a round remaining, outperforming rivals including Alfa Romeo development driver Théo Pourchaire and new Williams recruit Logan Sargeant.
Drugovich was announced as the first Aston Martin 'academy' driver in September, going on to make his F1 bow in FP1 ahead of the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
The 22-year-old, however, has revealed talks with Marko were held prior to his move to Aston Martin was announced as it was apparent early in the year an instant step into F1 was impossible given the outlook of the driver market.
On the conversations with Red Bull, Drugovich insisted: "It was a chat.
"There was no place [in F1] so as a young driver, you just go wandering around just to find a place. That is what I did.
"But the best place I found was here in this role, so quite good.
"[In] Winning F2, all you want is to get a place in F1. That was not possible but the team that gave me the best opportunity to do this role was Aston.
"That was the best option I had."
Brazil FP1 outing "wrong option" for Drugovich
For most teams, FP1 outings on a driver's home circuit have often been the aim when bedding in up-and-comers for F1's obligatory rookie runs.
But a chance to drive in front of his home crowd at Interlagos was impossible for Drugovich due to the sprint nature of the weekend which reduced the amount of practice time.
"It was the wrong option," he conceded. "None of the teams are going to give up an FP just before qualifying. Obviously, it would have been amazing to do that."