Toto Wolff has revealed his negotiations with Paddy Lowe were initially about wooing the former McLaren technical boss to Williams.
In 2012, Wolff was Williams' executive director and he is still a shareholder to this day.
He told Austria's Sportwoche magazine this week that, on the advice of former McLaren and Williams driver Alex Wurz, he tried to convince 51-year-old Lowe to leave McLaren.
"Our first meeting was at Alex's house in Monaco," Wolff revealed.
"We then negotiated for a long time. I wanted to bring him to Williams, but things were not going that well (at Williams). Luckily," said the 42-year-old.
"When I switched to Mercedes, Paddy was willing to come along."
Indeed, Wolff - now Mercedes' motor racing chief - bought into the Brackley based team early in 2013, and Briton Lowe followed six months later, ultimately replacing the departed Ross Brawn as a team boss.