Our hearts are bursting with Pinoy Pride as young Filino racer Bianca Bustamante has been announced as part of this year’s driver lineup for the new all-female racing championship Formula 1 Academy!
The up-and-coming Filipino teenage racing driver signs with PREMA for a full-season Formula 4 program in the F1 Academy. Bustamante will work alongside the highly acclaimed Italian team throughout 2023 to focus on full driver development as she takes a major step forward in her journey up the Formula 1 ladder.
F1 Academy is aimed at developing the newest generation of female racing talent and grooming them to succeed in the steps along the Formula 1 ladder, namely F3 and F2. With the support of Formula 1, the F1 Academy will provide all-around development for aspiring female drivers. Significant testing and track time will accelerate development as drivers learn how to prepare technically, physically, and mentally alongside experienced and well-established teams.
The 18-year-old from Laguna, Philippines is currently competing with PREMA in the Formula 4 UAE Championship, which consists of 5 rounds of comprehensive testing, practice, qualifying, and racing across 3 circuits in the Middle East. Bustamante has shown impressive growth and progress, going faster in the new Formula 4 machinery with each session on track.
Most recently, she overcame numerous challenges and managed to secure her first championship point with a well-earned P10 finish in Round 3 at Kuwait. Beyond racing, Bustamante will also have a rigorous testing and training program developed by PREMA, gaining her both education and invaluable seat time, something she lacked during the 2022 season.
PREMA is considered to be one of the most successful teams in junior single-seater racing, with years of experience in working with rising talent. PREMA boasts an impressive roster of alums who have graduated to F1, including Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly, Mick Schumacher, Guan-Yu Zhou, and Antonio Giovinazzi among others. Working alongside this iconic team, Bustamante will be equipped with all the tools necessary to enhance her drivability and unlock her full potential on the track. A full season with the team focused on the F1 Academy puts her in the driving seat toward the highest levels of motorsport and her ultimate goal: Formula 1.
Bustamante’s opportunity with PREMA has been supported by Lance East Office, the family office of Laurence Escalante, a successful gaming and tech entrepreneur. Her car will continue to promote the Lance East Exotics brand as Mr. Escalante looks forward to seeing Bianca represent the Philippines at the highest level of motorsport.
The inaugural F1 Academy season is set to feature seven events – likely to include one F1 weekend – comprising three races each for a total of 21 races, as well as 15 days of official testing. More details about the series will be announced soon.
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