McLaren Formula 1 junior Lando Norris says the team would rather he focused on building his experience levels rather than winning the Formula 2 championship at his first attempt.
Norris, the 2017 Formula 3 European champion, will step up to the F2 with Carlin this year after taking rookie titles in each of the last three seasons.
But the 18-year-old says he is not under any extra pressure from McLaren to replicate 2017 F2 title-winner Charles Leclerc's achievement of winning the series in his first year.
"Top three is the aim for the moment," said Norris. "Even if we don't start well and we end well, top three is still the aim.
"It's not a championship I have to go and win - or, it's like McLaren want me to just go in and win.
"They want me to learn as much as I can and try to just gain as much as experience as I can and go about it in the way you would in Formula 1, giving the feedback a Formula 1 engineer would want.
"Just so if I had the opportunity to step into Formula 1 in the next couple of years, I'm already on the level I need to be - not trying to work up at the end of the season."
Carlin is returning to F2 after skipping the 2016 season and the team feels Norris has taken a calculated risk to stick with the outfit that also ran him to the 2015 MSA Formula title.
Norris - McLaren's official test and reserve driver for 2018 - moved to downplay expectations ahead of his first full season in F2 after racing at the final round of '17 for Campos.
"I'm going in with confidence with Carlin, but it's definitely going to be tricky - especially in the beginning of the season," he said.
"We don't really know where we are at all compared to the other teams.
"But, just like last year [where] we definitely came on much stronger in the middle of the year - that's the aim again this year.
"Wins are going to be what I'm going for. They could come in the beginning, the could come just at the end.
"I want to win the championship but I think once we've done the first few races we'll know where we're actually at as a team - then it will be much easier to say what the goal is for the season."