Britain's Oliver Turvey has been placed on the McLaren
Driver Development programme, it was announced recently.
Turvey, who will compete in the GP2 Series - F1's feeder category - with iSport this season, tested for the Woking-based outfit at the end of last year, when he took part in the three-day young driver test at Jerez in Spain.
"McLaren have followed my progress since I won the [2006 McLaren Autosport
BRDC Young Driver of the year] award," he told BRDC.co.uk
. "The testing session in Spain was part of my prize for winning the award but McLaren
also wanted to test me.
"The test went well and they were impressed. I'm now working a bit more with them this season and they are trying to help me improve as a racing driver.
"It's a great opportunity for me and it's a dream come true. I have model McLaren
cars at home from when I was five. They are a team I have always dreamed of racing for.
"When I'm not racing I'm at McLaren
training twice a day, six days a week, or at the factory. I've been working with the simulator team as I am the only driver with an engineering degree," added the Cambridge University graduate.
Turvey finished sixth in the GP2 Asia Series during the winter, and is now hopeful a good performance in the GP2 Series 'proper' might help him make the step up to the pinnacle of the sport, to join fellow countryman and fellow McLaren
men, Jenson Button
and Lewis Hamilton.
"F1 teams look at GP2 for their next young drivers because the cars are so similar. The speed of a GP2 car on the straight is very similar to a F1 car.
"At the start of this year's F1 season, there were 11 former GP2 drivers on the grid, which is nearly half of the drivers. The top three GP2 drivers from last year's championships are now in F1," he concluded.