Bianca Bustamante joins Prema for F4 UAE campaign
After making her single-seater debut with W Series, Filipino racer Bianca Bustamante moves to Formula 4 UAE with Prema Racing.
Italian powerhouse team Prema Racing announced its driver line-up for the upcoming Formula 4 UAE Championship, which is set to get underway this weekend (13/14 January) in Dubai: among its six cars - three under the banner of Prema and three under the cooperation with Indian squad Mumbai Falcons - there will be W Series Academy driver Bianca Bustamante.
Filipino racer Bianca Bustamante is in fact set to get seat time in F4 machinery, in what is going to be only her second year in single seaters, having made the transition from karting to formulas in 2022 with W Series.
Bustamante was selected for the third season of the all-female championship after impressing in the Arizona F4-test, as well as in the Barcelona collective test in the Tatuus F3 Regional car.
Bustamante was chosen as one of the two Academy drivers, who should have gained a two-year entry in the series. She scored her first top ten at her W Series debut, with a remarkable ninth place finish at Miami that gained her 2 championship points.
Alongside her W Series campaign, Bustamante also contested the opening two rounds of the new USF Juniors championship in the US, aiming to maximise her track time. Again, the young Filipina scored a top-10 in her first event at Ozarks International Raceway.
Towards the end of the year, Bustamante took part in the Indian Racing League - a series featuring a mix of local and international talents. Racing for Bangalore Speedsters, she had an outstanding round at Chennai, but lost two podium finishes to post-race penalties.
Bustamante has tested the new F4 car with Prema at Barcelona last month and is looking forward to continuing her single-seater progression in the Emirates.
"I'm super excited to kick off 2023 by getting straight back into the race car!", she stated. "F4 UAE is one of the toughest championships with over 40 cars but I'm looking forward to this challenge. This will be the best season preparation I can get as a driver, especially with PREMA Team"
She joins previously announced Ugo Ugochukwu and Nicola Lacorte at Prema, while FDA drivers James Wharton and Tuukka Taponen, alongside Muhammad Ibrahim, will join Mumbai Falcons.
Pre-season testing is currently underway at Dubai Autodrome, with a 40 car field set to contest the opening championship race on the weekend. Five race events will be hosted over five weekends at Dubai, Kuwait City and YAS Marina in Abu Dhabi.
Women on the grid include Victoria Blokhina, Léna Bühler (R2Race), Hamda Al Qubaisi (Yas Heat Academy), Emely de Heus (MP Motorsport), Bianca Bustamante (Prema Racing).