History for McLaren: Bianca Bustamante first female driver

2023 10 20 FORMULA ONE FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX scaled
Oct 20, 2023; Austin, Texas, USA; McLaren. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

McLaren has recently signed Bianca Bustamante from the Philippines, making her the first woman to join their Driver Development Programme.

Bustamante made her racing debut in 2022 in the Women’s W Series competition, and this year she kicked off her journey in the inaugural Women’s F1 Academy competition as a part of the Prema Racing team. In this season, she achieved two victories and secured two podium finishes.

Currently, the Filipina driver holds the seventh position in the F1 Academy standings, with just two races left in Austin. Starting from 2024, the 18-year-old Bustamante will proudly represent McLaren on the F1 Academy starting grid.

Andrea Stella, the team director of McLaren, expressed McLaren’s delight at Bianca’s inclusion in the F1 Academy, stressing the team’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity. He also praised Formula 1’s efforts to promote gender diversity in motorsport.

The F1 Academy is a women’s championship that features 15 competitors in the current season, competing in 21 races, and provides an opportunity for advancement to higher levels of competition. From 2024, all ten F1 teams will have one female driver and one single-seater enrolled in the F1 Academy, further contributing to the promotion of gender diversity in Formula 1.

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