Pat Symonds has revealed that he was offered the chance to work for Ferrari no less than three times.
The 63-year-old Briton is set to retire soon but he revealed to La Gazzetta dello Sport that he had chances to move to Italy a number of times in his career.
"The first was in 1996, when Michael Schumacher moved with Ross Brawn from Benetton," he said. "I was a senior engineer at Benetton but I saw the possibility to become a technical director, so I wanted to stay."
"The second offer came from Stefano Domenicali in 2012, and the third was in 2014," Symonds added.
However, he said that a move to Ferrari wasn't right for him and the "horizontal" approach now taken by the team isn't right.
"Believe me, it doesn't work," said Symonds.
"In recent years, McLaren also introduced a non-pyramid shaped structure, but in Formula One you need engineers with strong opinions and experts who are able to make decisions that set the direction.
"Ross Brawn was a prime example of such a man for Ferrari. And Rory Byrne. Sure, Ferrari can be successful again, but they need strong leadership.
"It was a mistake of them to let James Allison go," Symonds commented. "I don't know what happened internally, but I worked with James for many years and have a lot of respect for him.
"He's a great engineer and someone who can inspire his team. I think a Ferrari with Allison would be a stronger Ferrari," he insisted.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing