Mar.1 (GMM) Sir Frank Williams has admitted to turning down a handsome offer from McLaren for the services this year of Nico Rosberg.
It has long been known that Ron Dennis was keen to prise the promising 22-year-old driver from the Grove based team to replace Fernando Alonso, but it was not known that McLaren had actually made a solid approach to Williams.
At a media lunch with British reporters, the wheelchair-bound 65-year-old described British countryman Dennis' interest in Rosberg as an offer of "majestic proportions".
But "It was never a thought we entertained," Williams said."Why would we give away the crown jewels? Why bother improving the car by one second if we then give away half a second with the driver?" he added.
Williams also admitted that he was "surprised" when Rosberg then decided to extend his contract to include the 2009 season, albeit with vastly improved financial terms.
"I feared he would go to McLaren. He could not have gone there this year, but 2009 was going to be the worry," he said.