Nothing ventured nothing gained as they say, so Heikki Kovalainen contacted Williams to offer his services in a bid to replace fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas.
"Yes, I sent Claire an email," the 35-year-old, who also drove for Renault and Caterham, told the Finnish broadcaster MTV.
"But they had other plans. Probably many other drivers had sent the same message," added 2008 Hungarian GP winner Kovalainen, who won the Japanese category Super GT in 2016.
Kovalainen said he is now happy with his GT career in Japan, although he will with great interest the progress of his Bottas year, as the younger Finn replaces reigning world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.
Kovalainen measured up against Bottas' team mate Lewis Hamilton in 2008 and 2009.
"I'm not going to predict how Valtteri will go, but he is a very good driver," Kovalainen told Ilta Sanomat newspaper.
"Valtteri has sufficient ability to be at the top. I also believe the cooperation between Valtteri and Lewis will go well. Both are professional drivers," he said.