He is still in his teens, but Sergey Sirotkin is set to get behind the wheel of the Sauber during free practice sessions later this year.
Sauber announced on Monday that Sirotkin has been added to their development programme as part of their partnerships with three Russian companies including the International Institute of Aviation Technologies, which is headed by his father, Oleg.
Under the deal, the Russian teenager, who will turn 18 in August, is set to earn a race seat on the Formula One grid next season.
His manager Nikolay Vetrov has also revealed that he will take part in some Friday practice sessions during the latter half of this campaign as part of his learning experience.
"Our target is simple," Vetrov told Autosport. "We want to be sure we do everything possible to make him ready for his debut in Formula 1 in 2014.
"We are preparing a package of measures - and in particular I can confirm that we will see Sergey in some Friday free practices [this year]."
In order to make it to Friday practice sessions, Sirotkin will require a mandatory superlicence, but he will need to win the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship, in which he is currently eighth, to qualify automatically.
If he fails then he can always get one through motorsport's governing body as drivers who are "judged by the FIA to have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars" can get a licence.
Not many drivers would be given a chance to show their worth in the F1 set-up at the age of 17, but Vetrov believes his charge is ready for the challenge.
"I have known Sergey since he was 10, and I'm absolutely sure that he is far ahead of boys who are the same age in terms of self-development: both physically and mentally," Vetrov said.
"That makes me believe he can manage the task in front of him. For us it was not an easy decision, but we have weighed up all the pros and cons - and we understood that someone had to make this step. So we decided to do it ourselves."
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