McLaren have promoted rising British star Lando Norris to be their official test and reserve driver in 2018.
McLaren executive director Zak Brown described the 17-year-old as “an outstanding young talent”.
The move also means Norris would replace Fernando Alonso or Stoffel Vandoorne if either was unable to race.
Norris won the European Formula Three series this year and will race in either Formula Two or Japan’s Super Formula in 2018.
He impressed in his first full test for McLaren, setting the second fastest time at the Hungarian Grand Prix behind Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.
Brown said Norris had proved himself to be “one of the very best up-and-coming single-seater drivers in the world”.
He added: “His summer test for McLaren was also remarkably impressive, and was further proof that he is ready to step up and take on a role of this size, scope and responsibility.
“At McLaren, we are all extremely keen to help him achieve his goal of racing in Formula 1.”
Norris, who will share a car with Alonso at January’s Daytona 24 Hours sportscar race, said: “I’m so excited to be joining McLaren as test and reserve driver for 2018.
“The last 12 months have been an incredible journey for me – I’ve enjoyed every single minute and this is just an amazing way to bring the year to an end.”