The Mastermind Behind McLaren’s Rising Talent

Bianca Bustamante, the latest recruit to McLaren’s development program, has expressed admiration for the efforts of Emanuele Pirro, who works tirelessly behind the scenes with the team’s academy.

Bustamante recently joined McLaren’s F1 Academy for the upcoming season, relocating to the UK to be closer to the team’s headquarters and to work closely with Pirro, who oversees the program.

Emanuele Pirro is a former Formula 1 driver and McLaren Driver Development program director. Despite transitioning from the driver’s seat to a managerial role, Pirro’s impact remains significant, as Bustamante underscores as she gears up for the inaugural race of the F1 Academy season this weekend.

She said to the media when asked who at McLaren has helped her; “A lot of people, I can’t even name all of them. There are a lot of people involved in this, it’s a project and everyone is so hands-on.

“Of course, there’s Emanuele Pirro. Insanely talented, smart, and one of the most well-conversed people I’ve ever spoken to. He just gives so much knowledge, he’s like my sensei.

“He gives me that perspective that you need as a driver, you need to always have perspective, you need to always have a point of view.

“He makes sure that I keep that point of view straight, he keeps me on track really. He is tough on me when he needs to be, he puts the hammer down when he has to and I just needed to learn to accept it.

“He’s an amazing driver so driving-wise, he has given me a lot of advice that I need as a rookie.”

Warren Hughes, a former British Touring Car driver, has also been singled out for commendation. Hughes, who currently serves as a coach at McLaren, has earned recognition for his contributions to the team.

Filipina said; “There’s also Warren Hughes. He’s an amazing driver. He’s one of the main coaches in McLaren and he’s been tasked to kind of mentor me on track.

“He’s basically with me at all of my testing and all of my races. He was with me in the winter series, at F1 Academy and so he is basically my coach. He’s my mentor. He’s my main ally on track.

“Whenever I’m driving badly he tells me, he makes me aware of it and of course, when we’re driving well, he just pushes me to fine-tune all of those techniques.”