McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh has admitted he is still interested in securing the services of Sebastian Vettel.
Whitmarsh was highly critical of the 23-year-old German recently, describing him as a "crash kid" after punting Jenson Button out of the Belgian Grand Prix.
"Under pressure this year, Sebastian is making just too many mistakes," the Briton said in an interview with Sport Bild.
"Also his collision with Mark Webber in Turkey, for me, was 95 percent his fault."
But when looking around for a replacement for Fernando Alonso at the end of 2007, McLaren offered then Toro Rosso rookie Vettel a deal that was vetoed by contract holders Red Bull.
Whitmarsh confirmed: "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.
"We were not able to sign him at that time," the Briton said.
Vettel is now signed up with Red Bull Racing until 2012.
"If he continues to develop so fantastically, then at the end of his contract I will try once again to get him," revealed Whitmarsh.
Renault The Only Engine Option For Red Bull
Adrian Newey has acknowledged that his Red Bull cars will almost certainly continue to be powered by Renault engines next year.
The Austrian team is concerned about its horsepower deficit that began amid the so-called 'engine freeze', with Mercedes and Ferrari pulling away in that area.
But technical boss Newey told Germany's Sport Bild that Red Bull is likely to stay with Renault.
"Where shall we go?" he is quoted as saying. "McLaren has stopped us from getting the Mercedes engine.
"So there's only Ferrari. But we ask ourselves: if we beat them, will we still have the same specification as the Ferrari team?" Newey said.
And although perhaps as much as 40 horsepower down, Newey acknowledges that Renault "always respond to our requests".
He said the French marque "very strongly adhered" to the spirit of the engine freeze, developing its V8 engine less than its rivals.
"This means we now have a gap to Ferrari and Mercedes. And if Renault are not allowed to keep up, I can well imagine them withdrawing as an engine supplier," he added.