McLaren junior drivers Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne have already proved they deserve Formula 1 futures, says team managing director Jonathan Neale.
The duo are currently fighting for the Formula Renault 3.5 title, with second-year campaigner Magnussen leading rookie Vandoorne by 36 points with four races to go. McLaren has already begun moves to place Magnussen in an F1 team next season, and Neale said Vandoorne had also done enough to show he should be on a grand prix grid as soon as possible.
"I'm not in a position to be specific about what's happening, but I can say that both Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne are really exciting prospects for the future," Neale said. "I think it behoves us as a sport to make sure that both those two fantastic individuals find their way into Formula 1. Certainly on current performance you'd expect them both to get there."
Neale warned that as the final graduation into F1 had caught out many highly rated young prospects over the years, it was imperative for McLaren to handle Magnussen and Vandoorne's next moves carefully.
"The step between coming through the junior series and coming into Formula 1 is pretty challenging, and we're still trying to figure out the best way for them to do that," he said. "I can't be specific, but we'd expect to see them in Formula 1 in the not too distant future."