Bianca Bustamante gushes over encounter with F1's Lewis Hamilton

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Bianca Bustamante gushes over encounter with F1's Lewis Hamilton
Bianca Bustamante
W Series

MANILA, Philippines — Filipina W Series driver Bianca Bustamante had a rare opportunity of interacting with Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend last month.

As the all-female single-seater racing championship was set to be a support race for F1 in Hungary, the seven-time world champion visited the W Series paddock to talk to the drivers, including Bustamante.

Having watched Hamilton in F1 all her life, the 17-year-old racer raved about the whole experience.

"I was on the verge of crying. It was funny because we didn't know, it was like a very surprise visit. There was just like Lewis [Hamilton] wants to see you guys, act normal," Bustamante told Philstar.com

"In the driver's room, I was panicking, I was like freaking out, it's Lewis Hamilton! And of course, the other girls are used to it, like Alice Powell, Jamie [Chadwick], they're like it's Lewis. But for me, that's Lewis Hamilton, seven time world champion, what do you mean? And it's funny because the fan girl really came out of me and it was insane as well because like, when I came out, he shook my hand, and I was just like, I didn't know how to act, it was so funny," she continued.

Despite her excitement to see the British driver, though, Bustamante was also able to discuss points that would aid her in her rookie season in W Series.

According to Bustamante, the Mercedes driver was more than willing to help her and the rest of the grid.

"He was really interested like we were talking and he was asking me how my season was going as a rookie, coming from the Philippines and all that stuff," said Bustamante.

"He was really interested in what we do and you know, he's very accommodating, like he would talk to me, ask me all this, give some tips, and I guess, being able to interact with someone that you just watch on TV, and then he's like in front of you, it was amazing," she added. 

After five races in her first season in W Series, Bustamante is 14th in the 18-driver grid for the world championship with the points she scored in her debut race in Miami last May.

Now on summer break here in the Philippines before returning to action in Singapore in October, Bustamante said that her encounter with Hamilton left a lasting impact.

"I mean, I was definitely inspired right after that. I just, like for sure, I wanted to be like him one day," she said.



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