2023 F1 Academy Vice-Champion Léna Bühler is stepping up to the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine grid for this season, with the Swiss racer continuing to compete with ART Grand Prix.
The first-ever female Sauber Academy driver, Bühler rapidly took to track in 2023. Putting together a consistent and quick campaign, she scored two wins and a record-setting 13 podiums. She contended with eventual Champion and fellow FRECA competitor Marta García for the inaugural title all the way to the final round in Austin last year.
Now, the 26-year-old's graduation comes a part of the milestone agreement announced last year that has seen FRECA grant its top teams a season-long fourth entry if they sign a driver who finishes P1, P2 or P3 in the F1 Academy Standings.
Speaking on her step up the junior series ladder, Bühler said she’s thrilled by the opportunity and is determined to make the most out of the upcoming campaign.
“Formula Regional was the natural next step after F1 Academy, and I am delighted and proud to make this progression. I want to thank Sauber Academy, my team and of course my sponsors for believing in me and for all their support last season – I cannot wait to get started again, and to achieve even greater results together.
“Over these past few months, I trained hard preparing for my debut, and I am highly motivated – it won’t be an easy task, but I am ready for the challenge.”
Beat Zehnder, Sauber Academy Director added: “We are proud to see Léna making a step forward in her career, which is a confirmation of the importance of driver development programmes, and we are delighted to continue working with her this season.
“Léna’s F1 Academy stint was impressive, with a record 13 podium appearances, and we are looking forward to seeing what she can achieve this year. Formula Regional will be an interesting new challenge, and we know she has the talent and the expertise to keep on achieving great things, proudly representing Sauber Academy’s programme all around Europe.”