Eric Boullier hailed the impressive performance of McLaren junior Lando Norris at F1's in-season test at Budapest, saying the 17-year-old is 'a potential star of the future'.
Robert Kubica may have stolen the show yesterday in Hungary, but further up the pitlane at McLaren, a brilliant young F3 racer was quietly put through his paces.
Norris' test with the Woking-based outfit was part of his prize for winning the 2016 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, which includes testing opportunities and simulator work.
The European F3 racer put 91 laps under his belt and was second quickest at the end of the day on the ultrasoft compound, just 0.271 adrift from top man Sebastian Vettel.
"Lando has impressed us all with his maturity, professionalism and speed, and has got to grips very quickly with the car in only his first outing in the MCL32," said Boullier.
"His feedback with the engineers has been valuable and accurate, and he’s certainly an asset to our test driver line-up – not to mention a potential star of the future."
The team began the morning gathering useful aero data during single-lap runs interspersed with quick-fire set-up changes, before moving to slightly longer runs as the session progressed.
Like on Tuesday, the focus was on handling, balance and stability evaluations as well as aero correlation.
"It’s been a really good day – and a very productive one for all of us," said Norris, who drove a 2011 McLaren MP4-26 earlier this year in Portugal in preparation for Wednesday’s test.
"I managed to get through all the tests that the team asked me to complete, and everything went well.
"Getting used to the car was a bit of a challenge at first, but by the end of the day I felt very comfortable. I got a lot of laps under my belt and I really enjoyed the experience.
"Finally, I want to say a big thanks to the team for giving me this opportunity. Hopefully it will be the first of many!"