GP2 champion Lewis Hamilton admits it would be a risk for McLaren to give him a Formula One race drive next season.
LEWIS HAMILTON FACTFILE
Date of birth: 7 January 1985
Place of birth: Stevenage
Big break: Signed to McLaren development programme at 13
Titles: Formula Renault 2003, Formula 3 Euroseries 2005, GP2 2006
The Briton, 21, has dominated the F1 feeder series and is in contention for the vacant seat alongside world champion Fernando Alonso in 2007.
Hamilton said: "It's a tough decision for the team and Mercedes.
"It's a risk because I've not tested the car yet, so no-one knows if I'll be quick or not. It depends on whether they're willing to take that risk."
He added: "At the end of the day it's the team's decision, but I feel I've got a good relationship with everyone on the team and feel they'd be happy for me to drive as a test or race driver.
"In the past they've been very loyal to me, so we'll just have to see what happens."
Hamilton says he is desperate to get a race drive at McLaren, even though he would have the pressure of driving alongside Alonso for one of the sport's biggest teams.
"The majority of drivers have come through the ranks after getting a test drive (and) that would be one of the options," he said.
The things I can learn from Alonso are endless
"If I couldn't get a race seat, a test drive would be the next best thing. But I'd much rather get into a race seat and be able to prove myself in that way."
And Hamilton thinks he could learn a lot by teaming up with Alonso.
"I think that (would be) a major advantage," he said.
"Going into F1 is extremely tough, so having the best driver alongside you with all that experience would be the best solution for me.
"The things I can learn from Alonso are endless."
Hamilton won the GP2 series with a race to spare at Monza last Saturday and now hopes to get a test drive in the McLaren F1 car in the coming weeks.
McLaren are testing in Jerez, Spain, next week and in Silverstone the following week.
"I'm hoping I'll get the call to do a test, but we haven't yet sat down," Hamilton said.
"They're very busy preparing for the next race and I've got a lot of time. But I'd obviously love to go ahead and test an F1 car.
"I feel good about the situation with McLaren. I feel there will be something for me, if not a race seat then a test seat, and I will be doing something and playing some sort of role.
"I feel that's extremely positive. My goal in the first place was to get a test seat."