Andretti Formula E driver Robin Frijns says he never turned down an offer from the Red Bull Junior Team, despite beliefs to the contrary.
The Dutchman, widely regarded as one of the most promising junior single-seater racers to never make Formula 1, won titles in succession in Formula BMW Europe, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and Formula Renault 3.5 between 2010 and 2012.
He earned an F1 test with Red Bull for his successes in FR3.5 and was a test driver for Sauber and Caterham in 2013 and 2014 respectively, but never started a grand prix.
Speaking to Formula E's official website, Frijns insisted that, while it had been previously reported that he turned down Red Bull, that was not the case, and that the offer simply never came.
"No one came to me and said: 'do you want to drive for us?' The opportunity never came for some reason, I don't know.
"When [the journalist] asked why I was never picked up [by] Red Bull, I said - first of all, I never got the opportunity, and second of all, because I know the stories of Red Bull and I saw every time that a driver comes in, half a year later or one year later they get kicked out again.
"It brings you a lot of pressure. I'm not sure if it's the right pressure."
Red Bull bashing "a big lie"
However, the Dutchman vehemently denies making such a statement.
"I never had those words in my mouth, like 'Red Bull treat you like dogs', because I didn't know," Frijns said. "So that was a real big mess and I was really angry at that person and he never ever called me again.
"I don't know [if it affected my career]. You never know if there was another way [if it hadn't happened]. But the worst thing that frustrated me was that I didn't say it.
"Everybody believes it because it was in a newspaper. Still, after four years, people ask me: 'Did you actually say that?'
"And every time I say: 'No, I never said it.' Never in my entire life did I use those words.
"So that was a big mess, for me I was not treated well, it was a big lie, but sometimes that's how the Formula 1 world goes."