McLaren Sign F1 Academy’s First Female Member

Bianca Bustamante, an 18-year-old F1 Academy racer, has made history by becoming the first female driver to join the McLaren Driver Development program. Born in the Philippines, she entered the scene in 2022, securing top rookie honors in the W Series. This year, she notched up two wins and two podiums with PREMA Racing in the F1 Academy.

As part of the McLaren program, Bustamante will race for the team on the 2024 F1 Academy grid, partnering with ART Grand Prix. The McLaren Driver Development initiative aims to nurture talent towards Formula 1, IndyCar, and Formula E.

Expressing her excitement, Bustamante said, “Signing with McLaren and ART Grand Prix is beyond anything I could’ve imagined. I’m grateful for this opportunity and believe I have the best structure for my career development. In 2024, my focus is on consistency and mental strength to challenge for the F1 Academy title.”

Emanuele Pirro, Director of McLaren Racing Driver Development, praised Bustamante’s work ethic and alignment with the team’s values. He looks forward to her representing the team in the F1 Academy series in 2024.

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