Zak Brown and Bianca Bustamante open up on McLaren agreement

Bianca Bustamante was announced as part of McLaren's driver development programme at the 2023 US GP

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Zak Brown and Bianca Bustamante have given some insight into the deal that will see the latter join McLaren‘s driver development programme.

Bustamante has been driving in the F1 Academy championship this season, with her taking part in the inaugural campaign.

Intended as a key stepping stone in helping young female racing drivers get to the top levels of motorsport, she is set to make an exciting move, with her joining up with McLaren to be a part of their driver programme.

The news was announced ahead of the 2023 United States Grand Prix in Austin with Emanuele Pirro, director of the McLaren programme.

“I’m pleased that Bianca is joining our driver development programme,” Pirro said in a statement. “She’s a promising young talent who has a brilliant work ethic and is aligned closely to our team’s values.

“I look forward to working with Bianca on her development as a racing driver. We’re also excited for Bianca to be representing the team in the F1 Academy series and we look forward to seeing her race in papaya in 2024.”

McLaren’s new academy driver Bianca Bustamente | Mclaren F1 team

Brown and Bustamante explain McLaren agreement

Meanwhile, McLaren Racing CEO Brown explained why the team picked the Philippines national and what they can offer Bustamante.

“We think Bianca has the most potential of the drivers that we saw out there,” Brown told the press.

“Obviously any driver of this age and experience will need a lot more seat time so I think that’s what’s going to be most important but I think we have a great track record of working with young drivers all the way to the F1 team. So I’m confident we can give the right training and environment.”

As for Bustamante herself, she had this to say on why McLaren were such an attractive proposition.

“I’ve always believed that it takes a space to make a champion and that’s what McLaren have given me, a safe space to learn and grow,” Bustamante said.

“I have lot to learn from them but they know what it takes to build a successful driver like with Lewis [Hamilton], Oscar [Piastri], Pato [O’Ward] and a lot of amazing junior drivers.

“I’m in the right place.”

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