Home Formula 4British F4 Bustamante becomes latest British F4-bound F1 Academy racer

Bustamante becomes latest British F4-bound F1 Academy racer

by Ida Wood

Photo: McLaren

Bianca Bustamante has become the third member of this year’s F1 Academy grid to seek Formula 1 circuit experience by signing with a team to make a British Formula 4 cameo.

F1 Academy points leader Abbi Pulling races full-time in British F4, and is a Rodin Motorsport driver in both series.

Chris Dittmann Racing ran Carrie Schreiner (who drives for Campos Racing in F1 Academy) last month in British F4’s round on Silverstone’s Grand Prix layout, and for the next round at Dutch Grand Prix venue Zandvoort will replace her with Jessica Edgar (Pulling’s F1 Academy team-mate).

Bustamante is an ART Grand Prix driver when on the F1 support bill, and this weekend she will join Hitech GP to make her British F4 debut in the Netherlands. Zandvoort is a track she already has experience of.

“I’m looking forward to racing in the British F4 championship for the first time,” said Bustamante. “Though I raced at Circuit Zandvoort last year, it will be my first time in the championship where the level of competition is intense and will have some of the best male and female drivers from around the globe.

“As always, qualifying will be a key component to a successful race weekend so I will work hard in the practice sessions to get acquainted with both my team and the car. Big thank you to my team Hitech GP for their guidance, as well as to McLaren for all their support.”

The 19-year-old Filipino came 15th in the Formula Regional-spec W Series in 2022 as a single-seater rookie, then stepped down to F4 last year. She came 27th in the United Arab Emirates championship and then seventh in F1 Academy with two wins.

McLaren signed her as a junior for 2024, and kept her in F1 Academy. Bustamante is currently fifth in the standings with one podium from the first three rounds.