The F1 Academy has started with a bang, offering an incredible format loaded with speed and competitiveness through three races per Grand Prix on competition weekends. After making its debut in Austria, the action moved to Valencia, Spain, for Round 2 from May 5-7.
Thus, the winners of the weekend were Hamda Al Qubaisi (race 1), Bianca Bustamante (race 2) and Marta Garcia (race 3), after multiple sensations and scenarios that took them to the top of the podium in this new category supported by Formula 1, which seeks to promote female talent in motorsports.
In the first round, Al Qubaisi (MP Accelerating Talent) took the lead and never looked back, despite starting the race behind the favorite, Nerea Martí. However, in turn 1 she brought all her talent to the fore to pass her rival on the outside, take off and see her first to see the chequered flag, after building a solid lead in the final laps and riding calmly.
“Being the winner of an F1 Academy race is a very good feeling, I’m very happy! I knew I had the pace from the Red Bull Ring (Austria) and, even though I had never been on this track in Valencia, I felt very fast. I was very confident in practice,” said Al Qubaisi.
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In Race 2, Bianca Bustamante (Prema Racing) also stood out by leading from pole position in a race that witnessed the Safety Car exit just on the first lap due to contact between MP Motorsport drivers Emely de Heus and Carrie Schreiner, where the Dutchwoman ended up in the gravel, forcing the car out.
“I was driving to feel that race, using all the experience we had gained during the whole week of testing. Starting from pole, I was really feeling the nerves, knowing that there were a lot of fast drivers behind me,” said Bustamante about her win in Valencia.
Then, in Race 3, an “old acquaintance” won: Marta García (Prema Racing), the Spaniard who dominated with authority in Austria by winning two out of three rounds. On home soil, she left the best for last. Leading from pole position, she kept comfortably in the lead to win for the third time in the F1 Academy, making her name quickly felt in the series.
Her pace at the front of the grid was superior to the rest of the competitors, establishing a two-second advantage in the opening laps of the race, although, little by little Nerea Martí (Campos Racing) reduced that advantage to threaten the Prema driver, although it was only a momentary scare, given that she crossed the finish line with authority.
“We had a good start, but I knew Nerea was fast here and was doing some fast laps. I managed quite well after the safety car and was very happy with the win,” said Garcia after her third F1 Academy win.
Now, the action moves to Barcelona, Spain, for Round 3 from May 19-21, with three new races that promise to be just as competitive as the first six.
Written by | Ronald Ortega