Different rules could have seen Michael Schumacher return to F1 in 2010 with Ferrari.
That is the belief of Marc Gene, the famous Italian team's Spanish test driver.
He wrote in his column for the El Mundo newspaper that Ferrari pushed hard for a rule-change so that a third car could be entered for Schumacher next year.
Instead, the 40-year-old has ended his 14-year Ferrari association and signed with Mercedes GP.
"Without a doubt, it hurts us at Ferrari to see him in different colours, because of his part in our best history," Gene, 35, wrote.
"I am convinced that if the regulations had allowed us to have a third car, Michael would be with us next year.
"But it's not to be and so we must applaud him, fear him and - mainly - work hard to beat him. At Ferrari we are ready, nobody doubts that. Alonso and Massa make a very strong team," added Gene.