Mick Schumacher, the son of seven-time world champion Michael, has taken another major step towards Formula One after signing for the Ferrari academy.
The new role means Schumacher, who this season will contest the Formula Two series, the feeder series to F1, is likely to test a Ferrari F1 car later this year.
Mercedes expressed their interest in the 19-year-old, but it is Ferrari – for whom his father won five world championships with at the turn of the century – that have won the race.
“I am thrilled that Ferrari has entered a partnership with me and my next future in motor sport will be in red, being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and also of the Ferrari family,” Schumacher said.
“It is more than obvious that Ferrari has a big place in my heart since I was born and also in the hearts of our family, so I am delighted on a personal level about this opportunity as well.
“Again, this is another step forward in the right direction, and I can only profit from the immense amount of expertise bundled there.
“Be sure I will make everything to extract whatever helps me achieve my dream, racing in Formula One.”
Schumacher impressed by winning eight times en route to clinching the Formula Three championship with a race to spare last year.
He is competing alongside Sebastian Vettel for Germany at the Race of Champions in Mexico this weekend.
Charles Leclerc, the young Monegasque driver who joins Vettel at Ferrari this season, is a product of the Ferrari academy.
Mattia Binotto, the new team principal for the Italian team, said: "For someone like me who has known him from birth, there's no doubt that welcoming Mick into Ferrari has a special emotional meaning, but we have chosen him for his talent and the human and professional qualities that have already distinguished him despite his young age."
Schumacher Jnr was skiing in the French Alps with his father when he fell in 2013.
Michael Schumacher, who won a record 91 grands prix and recently turned 50, is understood to be receiving round-the-clock care at his home in Switzerland, but no information has been made public about his medical condition.