Ferrari did not pursue Fernando Alonso because Jean Todt said he thought Kimi Raikkonen was a better fit for the team.
It is rumoured that Ferrari never again negotiated with F1's reigning back to back world champion after the Spaniard's management turned down an offer of a test drive up to seven years ago.
25-year-old Alonso was then guided into formula one by Flavio Briatore.
"Ferrari never spoke with Alonso," Jean Todt was quoted as saying in an interview on Wednesday with the German motoring magazine Auto Motor und Sport.
"He and Kimi are as drivers on the same level, but I thought that Kimi fit better with Ferrari and with me.
Raikkonen has had a mixed first winter in his new Ferrari, and Todt agreed that he has not yet formed with the Finn the sort of relationship forged with his predecessor Michael Schumacher.
"I like Kimi, I find him modest and not at all arrogant, but I do not yet know him really well," Todt continued.
The Ferrari boss also suggested that Felipe Massa has similarly not established a Schumacher-style relationship with Raikkonen, whose aloof personality is well known in the F1 paddock.
Todt said: "They respect each other and are equally ambitious. Michael and Felipe were friends but Kimi and Felipe do not yet know each other as well."
"The most important thing is that they mutually cooperate, and they are doing this well."