Bustamante finishes in P15 after explosive start in W Series round 2
Aiming to better understand car and track grip to improve qualifying performance
Strong progress as valuable track time gives young rookie more experience
Bianca Bustamante completed her third race in W Series 2022, held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Barcelona was the site of the pre-season test in March and also round 2 of the all-women F1 support series, with the race weekend featuring one practice and one qualifying session before the race on Saturday. It was a challenging weekend for the 17-year old Filipino, who is still coming to terms with the F3 machinery and how to drive the car to the limit. Qualifying was held after the practice on Friday, and Bustamante qualified her car in P17 despite pushing hard throughout the session. She had some disappointment as she was looking to put in a stronger lap time but also balancing her expectations as she knows it will take time to maximize the car as she continues to build her experience in her #9 W Series Academy Team car. Starting from the last row, Bustamante had a powerful launch as the lights went out and immediately put herself 5 positions up the order. She began attacking the car in front on the opening laps of the race, but in the process she made a small mistake running wide into the gravel and dropping two positions. Bustamante recollected herself and remained focused to eventually bring the car home in P15 despite constant pressure from behind. She showed her personal progression as the race settled down, by having consistent race pace and strong tire management as her lap times improved dramatically relative to the competitors up front, for the second half of the 30-minute sprint race. Although it was not the result she was hoping for, there were a lot of positive moments. It is a steep learning curve for her, having only progressed from karts to formula cars in 2022. She will continually work to improve her pace as she increases her seat time and gets more familiar with her car. The series will return for the next round in July at the iconic Silverstone Circuit.
Bianca Bustamante | Driver, #9 of W Series Academy Team
“It was my first time racing at Barcelona and it was amazing, but I would have liked to score some points this weekend. I am definitely still learning about the car and I am just not one with the car yet, I haven’t found the limit. I am pushing hard and confident we will get there. There were a lot of positives to take from the weekend. I was happy with my start and how I was managing my tires in the middle part of the race. A big thanks to my team, I learn so much from everyone and I am grateful to have them alongside me. The support from all fans has also been so great, it has given me a real boost at every race weekend. I’ll be preparing hard this month and looking forward to the race at Silverstone!”