Ayrton Senna would have ended his Formula One career at Ferrari had he not died at Imola 20 years ago, president Luca di Montezemolo said on Wednesday.
"He wanted to come to Ferrari and I wanted him in the team," Montezemolo told the Ferrari website (www.formula1.ferrari.com) in a tribute to the Brazilian who won his three titles with McLaren.
Senna had just moved to Williams and was in only his third race for that team when he crashed and died at the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1, 1994.
Montezemolo said he and Senna had met at his home in Bologna on the Wednesday before that race and the driver had told him he appreciated Ferrari's stand against the use of electronic aids that he felt did not allow his skills to shine.
"We spoke for a long time and he made it clear to me that he wanted to end his career at Ferrari, having come close to joining us a few years earlier," said the Italian.
"We agreed to meet again soon, so as to look at how we could overcome his contractual obligations at the time. We were both in agreement that Ferrari would be the ideal place for him to further his career."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer)