"Political reasons" stopped Franz Tost from rescuing Mick Schumacher's Formula 1 career.
Schumacher, 23, lost his race seat at Haas after two initial seasons in F1, and will instead be the official reserve driver at Mercedes in 2023.
But if AlphaTauri boss Tost had his way, the young German may have been paired with Yuki Tsunoda this year rather than Dutch rookie Nyck de Vries.
"He was considered by me personally," Tost told the German broadcaster ntv.
"I would actually have liked to have had Mick in the car. I am convinced that Mick is talented enough to be successful in F1."
When asked why Schumacher was not ultimately signed, Austrian Tost indicated it was because of "other circumstances" and "political reasons".
One such problem for Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri, he explained, was that Schumacher had been a "Ferrari junior" - even though that relationship has now been severed with his move to Mercedes.
"So there was never a deal, but personally, I think a lot of him," Tost said.
However, he thinks the reserve role at Mercedes-AMG is still a good opportunity for the son of F1 legend Michael Schumacher.
"It's a very, very good team - one of the best in F1," Tost said.
"So, of course, he can learn a great deal and hopefully have the opportunity to take the car out onto the track several times. That would give him more confidence, increase his technical understanding and hopefully bring him back to the grid at some point."