McLaren F1 team make history by adding first ever female driver to its ranks | The Sun
BIANCA BUSTAMANTE has made history by becoming McLaren's first-ever female driver.
The academy racer has become the newest addition to the British motor racing team's development programme.
Bustamante, 18, was born in the Philippines and made her single-seater debut in the 2022 W Series.
This year she raced in the inaugural F1 Academy season with PREMA racing where she has so far earned two wins and another two podium finishes.
She will be heading into the season finale in Austin, Texas this weekend currently sitting in 7th place.
The McLaren programme will include the youngster to represent the team on the 2024 F1 Academy grid and run their livery.
READ MORE IN F1
Inside abandoned F1 track that was £300m 'spectacular flop' with only four races
Get £30 in free bets when you stake £10 today with Bet UK
Bustamante is also set to switch teams to ART Grand Prix next season.
The programme is led by the legendary Emanuele Pirro – where the promising young driver will join McLaren's talented rank in the hope of racing in the prestigious F1, IndyCar and Formula E.
Speaking on her success as the first female to join the British side, Bustamante 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.
Most read in Motorsport
WE WILL ROCK SCHU
My drunk nights with Schumacher …he’d get smashed & rip pals’ clothes off
Max Verstappen hints at career change when F1 ace’s Red Bull contract expires
Terrifying moment race car flips over SEVEN times as driver somehow survives
Hamilton preparing for career change with Wolff as he hints at some ‘shifts’
FREE BETS – BEST BETTING OFFERS AND BONUSES NEW CUSTOMERS
"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.
"For now, my focus is to finish off the F1 Academy season strongly here in Austin, but we’ll get to work immediately on the 2024 season. I've never been more motivated in my life!
"A big thanks goes to Susie Wolff and the team at F1 Academy for fighting so hard for us girls and to give us this opportunity to be the best we can be."
Source: Read Full Article