Formula 3 championship winner Gabriel Bortoleto has joined the McLaren Driver Development programme.
The Brazilian joins the programme which was set up in April and is headed by ex-F1 driver Emanuele Pirro.
Bortoleto is the fifth member of the academy which welcomed Le Mans winner Ryo Hirakawa over the Japanese Grand Prix.
While not formally part of the academy, McLaren has an option on Brando Badoer, son of ex-F1 racer Luca, who currently competes in the Italian Formula 4 Championship.
“I'm excited to be joining the McLaren Driver Development programme,” said Bortoleto.
“I'm grateful to McLaren and Emanuele for giving me this opportunity.
“I've already been in the MTC for a tour and to meet the team, which was a really nice experience. I'm looking forward to continuing working on my development alongside a great team.”
Pirro added: “I'm pleased to welcome Gabriel to the McLaren Driver Development programme.
“I've known him well since the beginning of his motorsport career and he's got all that is needed on and off track to be a star.
“He also fits very well with our team culture at McLaren. I look forward to working with Gabriel and helping him develop in his motorsport career.
“I also look forward to working with Brando Badoer, who we sign as an Optioned Driver, as we continue to evaluate him over the next year.
“They join our talented line-up of drivers who we will be working with on their individual development to give them the tools they need to progress in their careers.”
Bortoleto made his single-seater debut in 2020 in the Italian F4 Championship where he won in Monza and Mugello.
The 18-year-old then moved on to the Formula Regional Championship in 2021 and 2022 before gaining a seat in Formula 3 with Trident, taking the title in his first year in the category.