Filipina Formula 1 Academy Driver Bianca Bustamante graced the checkered flag claiming her maiden victory at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. The PREMA Racing driver received pole position honors and the win in the second leg of Valencia’s three-race tourney after finishing fifth in the previous contest.
The second race of round two incurred a restart after a collision between MP Motorsport’s Emely de Heus and Carrie Schreiner, meriting a black flag in the opening lap. With its resumption, the 18-year-old Filipina driver commanded the pack, through danger constantly glared in her rearview mirror, defending a narrow 0.8-second lead over runner-up Buhler—seeing her first race victory after 11-gruesome laps along the 4.005 km track. Bustamante’s Formula 1 Academy victory marks the first win of a Filipino driver under the FIA-sanctioned single-seater race regulations.
Stood at the top of the podium not as one but for the 113 million Filipinos.
— Bianca Bustamante (@racerbia) May 6, 2023
Accustomed to the meticulousness and precision behind the wheel, the Filipina driver overcame internal pressures, as her car’s remarkable performance assisted in claiming victory.
“I was just driving by feel that race, using all the experience we had gained throughout the whole week of testing. Starting on pole I was really feeling the nerves, knowing there were a lot of fast drivers behind me”, the Filipina PREMA Racing driver mentioned.
Bustamante’s podium finish granted her the sixth position in the driver standings with 44 markers—53 points behind leader and teammate Marta García. The Formula 1 Academy resumes its 2023 season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, on May 19-21.