Carlos Sainz will enjoy a head start on 2019 next week when he makes his debut for McLaren at Pirelli's post-season tyre test.
Renault - Sainz's current employer - has agreed to an early release of the Spaniard who will therefore get acquainted with his new team at the text that will take place next Tuesday and Wednesday at Yas Marina.
Sainz won't be the only driver to make an early switch, with Lance Stroll running for Force India and Kimi Raikkonen expected to take part in the two-day test with Sauber, and Charles Leclerc trading places with the Finn as he moves from the Swiss outfit to Ferrari.
Over at Williams, new recruit George Russell will get his maiden run with the Grove-based outfit which will also include Robert Kubica in its line-up.
The test will provide an opportunity for all teams to sample Pirelli's 2019 compounds, although development work on cars will not be allowed.