Prema has announced Bianca Bustamante as its first signing for the new Formula 4-spec all-women F1 Academy series.
The Filipino is already driving for the team in F4 United Arab Emirates, where she currently lies 24th in the standings after three rounds.
Her single-seater career started last year, as she was chosen to race in W Series. She came 15th in the Formula Regional series with a singular points finish, and also scored in the F4-spec USF Juniors series where she contested the first two rounds. At the end of the year she got called up to race in the Indian Racing League.
“I’m very excited to be joining Prema for the 2023 season,” said Bustamante.
“As a rookie in formula cars, 2022 was a year full of challenges, but today is definitely a big step up in my career. Prema is one of the most prestigious racing organisations in the world, and I’m incredibly grateful to join their family of drivers.
“With Prema, I’m joining a top driver development programme both on and off the race track, and most importantly, I will have a rigorous race and test programme, giving me the much-needed seat time to perform at my best in competition.
“Thank you Prema for bringing me into the program, and Formula 1 for launching this series to support young female drivers.”
Bustamante is the series’ second confirmed driver, following ART Grand Prix’s Lena Buhler who is believed to be also joining Sauber as an F1 junior.
“We are happy to announce Bianca for our new F1 Academy programme,” Prema’s team principal Rene Rosin said.
“We enjoy working together in the F4 UAE championship and we feel there is great potential we can build on for the future. I think she will be an outstanding fit right from the start, especially considering what she was able to achieve in her first experiences, and we are determined to provide her with our best support.”