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Bianca Bustamante signs full season F1 Academy Programme with PREMA

  • Filipino teen confirms entry to all-women F1 Academy launched by Formula 1

  • Full 2023 season with PREMA to focus on driver development and training

  • Inaugural F1 Academy season to comprise of 21 races and 15 days of testing

The up-and-coming Filipino teenage racing driver Bianca Bustamante signs with PREMA for a full-season Formula 4 programme 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. Last year, Formula 1 announced the launch of the F1 Academy, a much anticipated all-female racing championship set to be inaugurated in 2023. The series 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-round 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 towards 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.

Bianca Bustamante | Race Driver, PREMA

“I am so excited to be racing in the F1 Academy with PREMA in 2023. 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. I want to thank Liberty Media as well as Laurence Escalante for giving me support and making this possible. Also, a shout out to all my supporters and partners for continuing to help me in chasing my Formula 1 dream.”

Rene Rosin | Team Principal, PREMA

“We are happy to announce Bianca for our new F1 Academy programme. 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.”

Darryl O’Young | Manager, Bianca Bustamante

“It’s a very exciting time for Bianca to be signing with PREMA and officially join the F1 Academy. This program is launched by Formula 1 to give these girls the opportunity to truly develop their driving skills, and this can only be accomplished by working with the top teams involved in this championship. We have been very impressed with how PREMA operates and we are confident that Bianca will have the chance to maximize her potential working in this high-level environment.”



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