It now appears that there will be two Filipino drivers on the grid when the 2023 Formula 4 UAE Championship gets the green light this weekend. After the announcement of Zach David with R-ace GP and Campos Racing, it has been confirmed that Bianca Bustamante has signed with PREMA to race a full season in the Middle East.
The 17-year-old is carrying the momentum from last year where she was hand-picked to race in W Series. She made an impressive start by scoring points on her global single-seater debut at the Miami GP and went on to complete the season 15th overall. Although the all-female-championship folded at the end of 2022 due to financial constraints, the Filipina driver was able continue her racing program and compete in the Indian Racing League in November.
Now just a few weeks into the new year and she’s back in the driver’s seat with an even bigger challenge. The highly-competitive Formula 4 UAE kicks off the 2023 racing calendar and is contested by 40 of the most promising young talents in the world. Beginning on the 13th/14th of January, the 5-round 15-race series will take Bianca (and all other drivers) to the Dubai Autodrome, and Kuwait Motor Town, and the Yas Marina Circuit home of the Abu Dhabi GP.
With her every step of the way is the renowned Italian team PREMA Racing. With over 40 years of experience, the squad is a mainstay in Formula 2, Formula 3, FRegional, and Formula 4. They also serve as a talent pool for the Ferrari Driver Academy with graduates such as Charles Leclerc, Mick Schumacher, and Guanyu Zhou.
There’s no doubt that Bianca will have some of the best driver training and technical support on-track from PREMA as she competes in Formula 4 UAE. She might also pick up a few tricks from teammates Nicola Lacorte from Italy and McLaren Young Driver Programme driver Ugo Ugochukwu.
Bianca’s race in Formula 4 UAE was made possible through the support from Lance East Office of successful gaming and tech entrepreneur Laurence Escalante. Mr Escalante is passionate about supporting rising talent in both business and motorsports and wishes Bianca all the best for 2023.
Formula 4 UAE Championship 2023 Calendar
Pre-Season Test | January 9 & 11 (Dubai Autodrome, UAE)
Round 1 | January 13-14 (Dubai Autodrome, UAE)
Round 2 | January 27-28 (Kuwait Motor Town, Kuwait)
Round 3 | February 1-2 (Kuwait Motor Town, Kuwait)
Round 4 | February 11-12 (Dubai Autodrome, UAE)
Round 5 | February 18-19 (Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi)
Bianca Bustamante: “I’m very excited to be joining PREMA for the F4 UAE. PREMA is one of the most prestigious racing organizations in the world, and it’s truly an honor to be able to drive for them. This winter, I will gain much-needed seat time to perform at my best in competition as we head into the 2023 season. Thank you PREMA for giving me this incredible opportunity. Most importantly, thanks to Laurence Escalante and Lance East Exotics for believing in me and supporting me on my racing journey.”
Rene Rosin, PREMA Team Principal: “We are delighted to welcome Bianca for 2023 as she joins us for F4 UAE. We are really looking forward to working with her and I think Bianca will be an outstanding fit right from the start considering what she was able to achieve in her first season in single-seaters. We will support her progression to the maximum to help her express her full potential.”