GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne will serve as McLaren's reserve driver for the 2016 season.
The Belgian, who will provide back-up to Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, replaces Kevin Magnussen who was released by the team in October.
Magnussen did not do any racing in addition to his work with McLaren, where he filled in for Alonso at the season-opening race in Australia, but Vandoorne has said he does not plan on sitting on the sidelines all year.
"I definitely want to race something next year, but what it will be we don't know yet. There's definitely some options, though, and we're talking about them," he told McLaren's website.
"I'm going to be test and reserve driver at McLaren anyway, which is a good position to be in. Obviously I want to race something next year as well, to say sharp, to stay fit, and to stay focused, so we'll see what comes out.
"And if you stay sharp, fit and focused, then if any opportunity arises in F1 you're 100 percent ready to jump in."
Vandoorne was linked with a McLaren race seat earlier in the year, with Button's future in some doubt. However, with the Briton remaining with the Woking-based team for another season, the 23-year-old has to wait a little longer for his shot at a spot on the F1 grid.