Martin Whitmarsh has revealed that McLaren tried to sign Sebastian Vettel three years ago and will most likely make another attempt when his Red Bull deal expires.
Vettel's arrival in Formula One at the 2007 US Grand Prix immediately put the German in the spotlight as he finished in eighth place for BMW, scoring his maiden World Championship point, despite it being only his first grand prix.
His performance saw him snapped up by Toro Rosso, with the rookie racer bagging their best result ever when he finished fourth in the Chinese GP. A year later, he secured Toro Rosso's first ever pole position and grand prix victory at a wet Italian GP.
His results saw Vettel move up to senior team Red Bull Racing, challenging for the World title in 2009 with four grand prix victories to his name.
And although this year's Championship has witnessed as many highs as lows for the 23-year-old, he once again finds himself in the hunt for the Drivers' crown.
And once again, McLaren are debating whether or not to snap him up when his Red Bull deal expires at the end of the 2012 season.
"Under pressure this year, Sebastian is making just too many mistakes," crash.net reports Whitmarsh as having told Sport Bild. "Also, his collision with Mark Webber in Turkey, for me, was 95 percent his fault."
But despite his mistakes, which also included crashing into McLaren's Jenson Button in the Belgian GP, Whitmarsh says McLaren could yet attempt to sign the German after missing out at the end of 2007.
"I am open and honest enough to admit it. Sebastian is one of the great and promising talents, and we at McLaren wanted to have him. Unfortunately, we were not able to sign him at that time."
But, he added, "if he continues to develop so fantastically, then at the end of his contract I will try once again to get him."