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McLaren

Brown details Bustamante trait that impressed McLaren

The latest signing by McLaren could be one to watch according to CEO Zak Brown.

Bianca Bustamante
Article
To news overview © McLaren

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes Bianca Bustamente is "exactly what the team needs" after she became its first Development Driver signing.

The 18-year-old is currently competing in the all-female F1 Academy with ART, having taken two wins in the series which reaches its climax during the US Grand Prix weekend in Austin.

It is just Bustamante's second year of racing cars, having first raced in Formula 4-spec USF Juniors and the W Series in 2022.

Throughout 2023 she has raced in F4 with Prema in the United Arab Emirates championship and Italian F4.

Brown believes the Filipino is a promising talent, having been drawn to his attention by McLaren Development Driver Director Emanuele Pirro.

"With all your drivers, you want drivers that have one goal - and that's to win," Brown told media, including RacingNews365.

"If they don't win, they tend to be disappointed, which is understandable, because they're all very competitive.

"The early relationship that we're building with Bianca is very clear.

"She has one goal in mind and that is to put the helmet on, win, and climb the ranks.

"That's exactly the type of racing drivers that we want inside of McLaren.

"We don't want anyone who just wants to be a race car driver. We want people to want to be World Champion."

Brown: Any driver of her age needs junior formula time

The development programme was launched earlier this year, with the aims of helping drivers into F1, IndyCar and Formula E.

Brown expects Bustamante will be competing in junior single seaters over the next couple of years, with opportunities within the McLaren Racing roster to be looked at in the future.

"Any driver of this age and experience needs a lot more seat time in the junior formulas, so I think that's when it's going to be most important," Brown added.

"I think we have a great track record [we have] of working with young drivers, all the way through to our F1 team.

"I'm confident we can give her the training experience and environment with other successful racing drivers, who have the same goal we have in all of our race cars - which is winning races."

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