McLaren have signed British teenager Lando Norris to their young driver programme, with a view to developing him towards a Formula 1 career.
McLaren executive director Zak Brown said he regarded the 17-year-old Englishman as “a fabulous prospect”.
Norris won two Formula Renault 2.0 titles last season and will move to the European Formula Three series in 2017.
Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen have previously raced in that category.
Norris said he was “immensely excited” about joining McLaren, whose F1 race drivers this year are double world champion Fernando Alonso and novice Stoffel Vandoorne.
“It’s hopefully taking me another step closer to reaching my goal of competing in Formula 1,” he said.
“I’m honoured to become part of such a prestigious F1 team and to be brought in alongside some very good drivers and experienced people.”
Norris will be mentored by McLaren development driver Oliver Turvey, who McLaren describe as the “linchpin” of their F1 simulator programme.
McLaren have also retained Japanese Nobuharu Matsushita, a protege of engine partner Honda, will race again in GP2 and be McLaren’s F1 test and development driver.
Dutchman Nyck de Vries, 22, who raced in GP3 last season, is also still on McLaren’s books but his programme this season has not yet been finalised.