Honda protege Nobuharu Matsushita has been named a McLaren Formula 1 test and development driver for the upcoming season.
The former Japanese F3 champion, who will be driving for ART Grand Prix in GP2 this year, will focus his efforts on simulator work and engineering support alongside reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Speaking about the opportunity, Matshushita said: “This season I am ecstatic to be joining the McLaren-Honda F1 team as a test and development driver.
“To step into the world of Formula 1 fulfils a boyhood dream, and is a huge step forward in my career. I will do the utmost to help the race team on the track, by gathering data to feed back into the development and set-up of the car through simulator work.
McLaren racing director Eric Boullier added: “Nobu’s first season racing in Europe showed great promise – he produced some extremely impressive performances, and with experience and consistency, will surely build on that potential in 2016.
“His position as a McLaren-Honda test and development driver will be extremely important – he’ll underline and corroborate the learning we acquire at the track, and will play a key role in improving our performance throughout 2016.”