18-year-old Bianca Bustamante, known as Bia to her followers, shared on her TikTok that she joined McLaren’s Driver Development program. The young Pinay continues making history as the first female to join McLaren’s program.
McLaren also broke the news on October 18, Wednesday. “This is such an unreal moment in my career, to sign with Mclaren and ART Grand Prix is way beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined growing up racing karts in the Philippines,” Bustamante shared in a statement from the F1 program.
Bia initially made noise when she joined F1 Academy’s Prema Racing in February of this year and achieved her Formula One title in Spain in May this year.
Director of McLaren’s Racing Driver Development and former F1 driver Emanuele Pirro shared his warm welcome for Bia: “She’s a promising young talent who has a brilliant work ethic and is aligned closely to our team’s values.”
Bustamante will be representing McLaren on the F1 Academy race car for 2024.
Bia has been racing karts and winning titles across Asia since she was five. Her solo-seater career credentials include competing in the W Series, Formula 4 UAE Championship, Italian Formula 4, USF Juniors, and the 2023 F1 Academy Season.
In the current season, Bia currently holds two wins and podiums, and she is set to proceed to the last round of the 2023 series in Austin at the United States Grand Prix.
McLaren’s F1 Principal, Andrea Stella, shared her sentiments about the Filipina racing pride as well, “the team are delighted for Bianca to join us and for McLaren to be involved in F1 Academy. It’s our core principle to be a diverse and inclusive team, so we’re pleased to be so involved in Formula 1’s work on improving gender diversity within motorsport. We also look forward to seeing Bianca grow and progress within the McLaren Racing Driver Development program under Emanuel’s guidance.” Bianca actively shares her F1 journey on her Tiktok and has been gaining much well-deserved applause from Filipinos worldwide.
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