Bianca Bustamante Becomes First Filipina to Win at F1 Academy in Spain
by: The Beat Asia
May 09, 2023
Motorsport athlete Bianca Bustamante emerged as the first Filipina to win a race at the prestigious F1 Academy on Saturday, May 6, in Valencia, Spain.
After coming in fifth place in Race 1, the 18-year-old dominated the 11-lap Race 2 and secured her first career win under the PREMA Racing Team.
“I’m living the life that I thought I’ll never get to live. Representing the Philippines has been an honor. It was a surreal moment. When ‘Lupang Hinirang’ was playing, I couldn’t help but sing along,” Bianca said in a press conference on Monday, May 8.
“I haven’t heard the national anthem being played in motorsport for a long time. It was an amazing moment for me and the team. I really couldn’t hold back my tears,” she added.
Designed exclusively for women, the all-new F1 Academy program aims to equip female drivers with the skills necessary to progress to higher levels of competition.
Bianca’s victory earned her 44 points, placing her in sixth position in the overall Driver’s Championship standings.
“F1 [ensures] that we get equal treatment and they’ve done an amazing job in making the sport inclusive and diverse. It has been a safe environment for me.”
The 2023 season of F1 Academy has seven rounds with three races each, and the Laguna-born athlete will once again carry the Philippine flag in the next round of the competition in Barcelona on May 19-21.
“I’ve always done my best to [represent] the Philippines. To have Filipinos supporting me and rallying behind me is the best feeling.” she said.
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