December 01, 2023

Proud Filipina racer Bianca Bustamante claims first F1 Academy victory

Proud Filipina racer Bianca Bustamante claims first F1 Academy victory
F1 Academy Facebook page

Watch the downpour of emotions from Bianca Bustamante as the Philippine national anthem played during the awarding ceremony in Valencia, Spain on Saturday.

The 18-year-old Filipina racer captured her first triumph in the inaugural season of the F1 Academy after topping Race 2 of the second round, fending off top contenders in Swiss driver Lena Buhler and Hamda Al Qubaisi of the United Arab Emirates.

“I was just driving by feel that race, using all the experience we had gained throughout the whole week of testing," Bustamante, who admitted to feeling the pressure, told reporters after the race.

"Starting on pole, I was really feeling the nerves, knowing there were a lot of fast drivers behind me,” Bustamante added in the interview posted on the F1 Academy website.

The Filipino speedster’s first-place finish kept her squad PREMA on top of the Team Championship leaderboard after, ahead by 13 points over MP Motorsport. They are followed by ART Grand Prix and Road Carlin who both have 62 points. Tailing those two is Campos with 45 points.

Aside from the team points, and the individual accolade, Bustamante was proud to have won a major trophy for her motherland, a worthy follow-up to her strong Round 1, where she left a good impression but ultimately fell short.

In one tweet, she simple said the win for was for her country.

She then followed it up with another post, thanking her countrymen.

“Stood at the top of the podium not as one but for the 113 million Filipinos,” Bianca wrote.

Knowing that she’s out there racing her heart out not for herself, it shouldn’t take long for Bustamante to receive more support from her fellow Filipinos. Maybe all 113 million of them.