Rising star and McLaren Driver Development Programme member from Philippines is set to take part in Formula Winter Series’ first three meetings as part of her preparation for second F1 Academy season.
It is a pleasure for GRS Team to confirm that Bianca Bustamante is to take part in Formula Winter Series with the team. Filipina driver will be on the grid of the winter championship for three weekends in order to prepare her sophomore F1 Academy campaign. Bustamante, aged 19, was recently added to McLaren’s Driver Development Programme.
After an extensive karting career, in which she was successful across Asia and the United States, Bustamante made her single seaters debut in 2022, racing in W Series. Last year, the driver from Manila was on the grid of first-ever F1 Academy season. There, she won two races, finished on the podium four times, and claimed seventh place on the final standings. To wrap up her season, Bustamante entered the F4 race at the Macau Grand Prix.
Now, Bustamante is part of the McLaren Driver Development Programme and faces the season aiming for the top. As part of her training for the new season, a testing programme with GRS started for her in December. The results were positive, and now she is set to have to keep working towards F1 Academy. Formula Winter Series, where a large, competitive field is expected, will be the final test for Bustamante, who will enter the first three rounds at Circuito de Jerez, MotorLand Aragón, and Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
“I’m looking forward to competing in the Formula Winter Series in Spain! This will mark my debut in this series, where I’ll have the chance to test my skills against some of the top F4 drivers in Europe. It’s a short series but it will be great preparation as the F1 Academy season is fast approaching, which is my main program this year. I’m very grateful to GRS Team, who have done great work in preparing me for the races during our recent tests. Special thanks to Lance East Exotics and McLaren Racing for their continuous support in my journey so far. And finally, thank you to all my supporters for your enthusiasm and encouragement in my racing career. I really can’t wait to hit the track this week!” – Bianca Bustamante, driver #16.
“We are delighted of having Bianca in our Formula Winter Series line-up. The team was aware of her career and huge potential, and the results obtained in the tests she did at GRS confirm that potential. As a team, we face the challenge with the goal of providing Bianca the best conditions and environment for her development as a driver. We are fully confident that we will have a successful season together. On behalf of the team, we thank Bianca and McLaren Racing for their trust.” – Josep Trinidad, CEO & Team Manager.
Formula Winter Series 2024 season will start on February 9-11 at Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto. Douwe Dedecker and another driver to be confirmed will be Bustamante’s teammates on this championship.