McLaren add female driver Bustamante to driver development roster

McLaren have added Bianca Bustamante to their driver development roster.
McLaren add female driver Bustamante to driver development roster

The 18-year-old will sport a McLaren-themed livery in next year’s F1 Academy season while driving for ART Grand Prix.

As noted by McLaren, the development programme is designed to help drivers such as Bustamante into F1, IndyCar and Formula E.

She finished 15th in the 2022 W Series season, scoring points on just one occasion.

Bustamante currently sits seventh in this year’s F1 Academy standings with one round remaining in Austin.

Speaking of the announcement, she said: "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. 

“I still have a hard time seeing my name next to McLaren without getting emotional, as the history and heritage linked to this team leaves me truly speechless.  

“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, and for this I am so thankful. 2023 was all about improving my speed which I demonstrated across several races this year, but in 2024 my aim is to establish consistency and improve my mental strength in order to make a title challenge in the coming F1 Academy season.”

Team boss Andrea Stella added: “The team are delighted for Bianca to join us, and for McLaren to be involved in F1 Academy. 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. 

“We also look forward to seeing Bianca grow and progress within the McLaren Racing Driver Development programme under Emanuele’s guidance.”

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