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Bianca Bustamante enters Formula Winter Series

As preparation for the upcoming F1 Academy season, McLaren junior Bianca Bustamante will enter three rounds of the Spanish-based Formula Winter Series.


Bianca Bustamante, GRS Racing, Formula Winter Series 2024
Photo credits: CBR Media

As the 2024 F1 Academy approaches, many of the young female talents that are set to enter the second ever season of the all-female championship promoted by F1 are opting to prepare their upcoming campaigns in some of the most popular winter championships; F4 UAE has seen several female entries - including Doriane Pin, Tina Hausmann, Carrie Schreiner. The Al Qubaisi sisters chose the brand-new Saudi F4 series - where Hamda collected a victory last weekend in Kuwait.


Filipina star Bianca Bustamante has now announced that she will enter the first three rounds of the Formula Winter Series championship, in a GRS entry, thus making her first start of the year. The 19 year old will race in a busy 38-car field at Jerez de la Frontera from the 9th to 11th of February, before heading to Valencia on the following weekend (16-18 February). Her third out of four rounds will be held at Motorland Aragon on 1-3 March.


“I’m looking forward to competing in the Formula Winter Series in Spain!" - Bianca said. "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."


Bustamante contested the F4 UAE Championship in 2023 ahead of her F1 Academy debut; in the massively competitive field, she effectively made her F4 debut and scored points on two occasions. That experience proved to be crucial ahead of her rookie F1 Academy campaign, where the Filipina claimed two victories and four podiums.


Having now joined the McLaren Racing Driver Development programme for her sophomore season, she will partner Lia Block and a driver yet to be announced at ART Grand Prix. Ahead of her Formula Winter Series debut, Bianca has tested with GRS Team at Jerez, Valencia and Aragon - and is now ready to tackle this new adventure with the Spanish-based team in preparation for F1 Academy.


“We are delighted to have Bianca in our Formula Winter Series line-up", said GRS Team CEO & Team Manager Josep Trinidad. "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.”


GRS Team is also expected to line up Williams Academy's Lia Block in Formula Winter Series. In its second year of competitions, Formula Winter Series has seen a significant growth and the entry list for the opening round is proof of a huge interest among European teams. Bustamante aims to regain her competitive edge on such an international roster of drivers - and will be supported by racing driver and coach Warren Hughes.


"I'm very grateful to GRS Team, who have done great work in preparing me for the races during our recent tests" - Bianca continued. "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!”


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