McLaren Announces Bianca Bustamante as First Driver for 2024 F1 Women’s Series

UNITED KINGDOM: McLaren Racing has named 18-year-old Bianca Bustamante as the inaugural driver to compete in the 2024 F1 Women’s Series.

Bustamante, hailing from the Philippines, will be donning the iconic McLaren livery in this female-only feeder series, steering a car managed by the esteemed French outfit, ART Grand Prix. 

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Moreover, she will be integrated into McLaren’s driver development program, signifying a significant step forward for women in motorsport.

Bustamante, currently standing at an impressive seventh position in the F1 Academy standings, expressed her elation at this career-defining opportunity.

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An emotional Bustamante exclaimed, “I’m so grateful for this opportunity as I believe I now have the best possible development structure around me to take the next step up in my career.”

Emanuele Pirro, McLaren’s Driver Development Director and a former F1 racer and five-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner, lauded Bustamante’s potential, praising her work ethic and alignment with the team’s values. “I look forward to working with Bianca on her development as a racing driver,” Pirro stated.

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The announcement underscores McLaren’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity in motorsport. Team principal Andrea Stella affirmed, “It’s a core principle of ours to be a diverse and inclusive team, so we’re pleased to be so involved in Formula 1’s work on the important topic of improving gender diversity within motorsport.”

Bustamante’s journey in the F1 Academy series culminates this weekend in Austin, Texas, where she looks to build on her recent victory in Monza. This season finale will be the first to run during a grand prix weekend, marking a pivotal moment in the promotion of women in Formula 1.

In addition to Bustamante, McLaren has also welcomed Gabriel Bortoleto, the newly crowned FIA F3 champion from Brazil, into its driver development program, further exemplifying the team’s dedication to nurturing emerging talent.

Also Read: McLaren’s Remarkable 2023 Season: How The Team Became One Second Faster Per Lap

Originally posted 2023-10-19 06:06:00.