Alain Prost has revealed that secret talks took place in the mid-1990s that would have seen him rejoin the Ferrari Formula 1 team as "number two" to Michael Schumacher.
Four-time World Champion Prost retired in 1993 after claiming his final world title for Williams. This championship-winning year was a comeback season, following a sabbatical in 1992.
Prior to '92, Prost had a three-year stay at Ferrari which culminated in him being sacked before the end of the '91 campaign.
The Frenchman did test cars in 1994 before taking over the Ligier team later in the decade, turning them into Prost Grand Prix - which ultimately folded ahead of the 2002 season.
However, the 51-time Grand Prix winner has spoken of talks with then-Ferrari chief Jean Todt to partner Schumacher - who moved to the Scuderia in 1996, by which time Prost had been retired for three seasons.
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"I had, it was very close as well, another opportunity at one stage a few years later, even at Ferrari," Prost explained on the F1: Beyond The Grid podcast when asked if he considered returning following his 1993 retirement.
"I talked with Jean at the beginning and Michael went there. I had a discussion with Jean and I said: 'We have to be clear if I go there, I am a number two. I will try to help Ferrari and Michael win a championship.'
"Because it would be a sort of clean attitude, I don't want to have any argument with the press or media or whatever, Michael is number one, I am number two.
"I am here to help and it could have been a possibility and it did not work."
A real challenge
Had Prost come back to take the deal, most likely for the 1996 season, he would have been 41 - the same age as Fernando Alonso is now.
He was realistic about his chances against then-double World Champion Schumacher, knowing that he could not beat him.
"It was only to be part of the Ferrari success of many, many years and it was part of the challenge," added Prost.
"The human side is much more important than you think and it is very important to me.
"If you are in a team, and say: 'Okay, I am here, an employee again and am here to help Jean Todt, the people and obviously Michael because there's no way I could compete with Michael after retiring for one, two, three years and then come back, but I could help.
"It would have been a challenge, maybe it was a crazy challenge but I wouldn't break.
"We were talking about it, not for long, but we were.
"Maybe we found it would be too difficult to do it, I don't remember who they took at the time, but maybe it's better not to have done it."
Join RacingNews365.com journalists Michael Butterworth and Dieter Rencken as they discuss all the key talking points ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.