Former Formula Regional Europe driver Lena Buhler has become the first driver to land a seat in the new Formula 4-spec F1 Academy series.
Launced by Formula 1 itself, the European series will have its cars run by teams that are currently competing in Formula 2 and it will have an all-female driver line-up. Buhler will race for French team ART Grand Prix, which is new to F4.
Her single-seater racing debut came in F4 back in 2020, as she raced in the Spanish championship for Drivex School and came 15th in the standings with her best results being two fifth place. She then stepped up to FREC with R-ace GP, and had a best result of 20th from her 20 races in the series across 2021 and ’22.
Last year she also contested FRegional Asian Championship with the team, faring better by finishing as high as 12th in her six-race stint in the series, and start of this year stepped down to F4 United Arab Emirates with R2Race to prepare for F1 Academy and she currently lies 30th in the standings with two rounds to go.
“It’s with great pleasure that I will be able to discover the first F1 Academy championship and even more so with ART Grand Prix, a team with a fantastic record,” said Buhler.
“It will be a great challenge for me and for the team as we learn more about this new single-seater. I am looking forward to coming to grips with it. This will only be my fourth year in a motorsport and I still have a lot to learn, but I am ready to give 100% both mentally and physically to honour the trust ART GP has in me, together with that of my partners without whom this adventure would not be possible.”
ART GP president Sebastien Philippe added: “We are happy to welcome Lena to our team. She will be one of the first 15 drivers to write her name in the history books of the F1 Academy. This corresponds perfectly to the philosophy of ART GP, which is to help young drivers climb the ladder of the junior formulas which lead to the highest level of motorsport. The team will do everything sportingly, humanly and technically possible to take up this new historic challenge with Lena.”