Sergio Perez would still be with McLaren had a rival team boss not gone back on his word to sign Kevin Magnussen for next season.
Earlier this month McLaren shocked many when they opted to drop Perez and instead signing 21-year-old Danish rookie Magnussen.
The decision was a late one and could yet cost Perez the opportunity to find a new team in time for next season.
However, according to team boss Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren's initial intention had been to hold onto Perez and blood Magnussen with a rival team.
In fact, he had even done a deal with another team boss only for the unnamed person to reneged at the last minute.
"I hoped and tried to find him [Magnussen] a cockpit," Whitmarsh revealed to the official F1 website.
"I even did a deal and shook hands with a team principal up and down this paddock - an absolute deal - but he stepped back...
"Even after 25 years I find that difficult to deal with - I know I shouldn't, but I am still hopelessly naive.
"I still think that if you look somebody in the eye and shake hands then that's a done deal.
"When it turns out like in the Magnussen case, then I am shocked - and I tell myself 'learn, don't be naive'.
"So having to face this situation, I decided let's go for it with Kevin ourselves."