Kevin Magnussen would have landed a race seat at the Haas Formula 1 team in 2016, if Romain Grosjean had not accepted a deal.
The Danish driver held talks with the new American outfit about a potential return to racing, having spent this season on the sidelines as McLaren reserve driver.
In the end, Haas elected to take Grosjean, who had run out of patience with Lotus amid the protracted talks regarding a takeover by Renault.
Speaking to the official F1 website, team owner Gene Haas said that Magnussen had been highly-regarded – and would have been slotted in if Grosjean had stayed put.
"We talked to Magnussen, who was a very good candidate," Haas said. “He was very well-respected by the McLaren team. In fact, if Romain had declined, we would have taken Magnussen as the primary seat."
Grosjean's chance at Haas came after the team held lengthy talks with Nico Hulkenberg about joining them for 2016.
In the end, the German chose to stay at Force India and signed a new two-year deal with the Silverstone-based outfit.
Magnussen's failure to land a drive at Haas appears to have frozen him out of the F1 driver market for next year - with Manor now the only team with obvious vacancies.