PREMA Racing’s Bianca Bustamante was happy with her performance in Race 1 as she pushed forward from P6 to P4 after battling with teammate Marta Garcia throughout the race.

The Filipino driver showed good pace throughout and battled intensely with Garcia culminating in a last lap tussle that saw her edge ahead of her teammate, only to lose out on the final corner as she finished in P4.

Bustamante was particularly happy with her ability to stay close behind Garcia throughout the race: “I was able to stay close behind Marta for all the race and pace wise it was mega, even with the dirty air I was able to stay close. What really matters was I learnt a lot from this race, how to manage dirty air, to preserve the tyres and to not make any mistakes.

“It was quite cool fighting for that last spot on the podium with Marta and I overtook her on T10, but in the end I wasn’t able to stick it as she made a switchback in T13.”

Ahead of Race 2, Bustamante is focused on ensuring she secures maximum points off the back of her first race win last week: “I think starting P3, the win is in sight for us, and of course with the mega car that we had and the pace that we were able to show from Race 1, I think we can get away with a lot of positive things heading into Race 2.”

It has been quite the week for Bustamante, with the PREMA Racing driver receiving nationwide support from the Philippines, following her maiden F1 Academy win in Valencia.

“I put in a lot of hard work over the last couple of months to be able to really fight up there heading into the F1 Academy season and for it to actually show the results is great.

“It is amazing to get to inspire other people through my journey and through the challenges I face. I hope I can inspire another young girl to pursue her dreams. They inspire me more than I inspire them, so it has been a really good experience.”