The Haas Formula 1 team would have signed McLaren reserve Kevin Magnussen as a fallback option had Romain Grosjean rejected a move from Lotus, team owner Gene Haas has revealed.
Magnussen finished 11th in the world championship for McLaren as a rookie in 2014, but has largely sat on the sidelines this season, having been demoted from a race seat to make way for the return of double world champion Fernando Alonso.
Magnussen, who deputised for the injured Alonso at this season's Australian Grand Prix, will leave McLaren at the end of this season, after the team elected to retain Jenson Button as a race driver for 2016 and not renew Magnussen's contract.
The Dane was determined to secure a return to a race seat in F1 for next season, and touted himself as a potential Haas driver in September, holding talks with Haas and team principal Gunther Steiner about joining the new Ferrari customer outfit.
Team owner Haas told the official Formula 1 website he would have taken Magnussen, if Grosjean had declined to swap Enstone for Charlotte.
"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."
Once the Haas option came to nought, Magnussen hoped to replace Grosjean at Lotus, which is set to become the Renault works outfit in 2016, once a planned takeover of the team by the French manufacturer is finalised, but that seat has now gone to 2014 GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer.
Magnussen is now exploring options outside of F1, and is due to test for the Porsche World Endurance LMP1 squad later this month.