On the basis of her performances in Formula 4 driving in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, Filipina teen Bianca Bustamante was inked to a full season with Italian racing team, Prema.
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.
“I am so excited to be racing in the F1 Academy with Prema in 2023,” said Bustamante. “The team is incredible and I have already learned so much in the short period of time I have been with the team at the F4 UAE Championship.”
“The F1 Academy is an amazing initiative for rising female talent in motorsports and I am looking forward to seeing what I can achieve with PREMA. Also, a shout out to all my supporters and partners for continuing to help me in chasing my Formula 1 dream.”
The full year with Prema will allow Bustamante will allow Bustamante to focus on full driver development as she takes a major step forward in her Formula 1 dreams.
Formula 1’s F1 Academy was launched last year with the intent of also organizing an all-female racing championship that will be held this 2023. The academy will also feature the same ladder version as the men’s with F1, F2, and F3.
Bustamante, who hails 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 three circuits in the Middle East.
Added Bianca’s manager, Darryl O’Young, “We are happy to announce Bianca for our new F1 Academy program. We enjoy working together in the F4 UAE Championship and we feel there is great potential we can build on for the future. I think she will be an outstanding fit right from the start, especially considering what she was able to achieve in her first experiences, and we are determined to provide her with our best support.”
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.