The first of 15 drivers who will contest Formula 1's new all-female junior series has been announced.
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ART Grand Prix, one of the five teams which will contest the inaugural championship, has signed 25-year-old Swiss racer Lena Bühler as the first member of its three-strong squad.
Bühler began karting seven years ago having previously raced BMX bikes. She moved into racing cars in 2020, finishing 15th in the Spanish Formula 4 championship.
The following year she moved into the Formula Regional European series with R-ace GP, managing a best finish of 20th. Her return the following year was cut short, but she returned to racing in the Formula 4 UAE series this year. Her overalls bore Sauber Academy logos at this week's round in Kuwait, but no formal tie-up has yet been announced.
Bühler said she was pleased to be joining "a team with a fantastic record". ART has won multiple championships in other series and taken four current drivers to titles at Formula 2 (previously GP2) level: Lewis Hamilton , George Russell, Nico Hulkenberg and Nyck de Vries.
"It will be a great challenge for me and for the team as we learn more about this new single-seater," Bühler continued. "I am looking forward to coming to grips with it.
"This will only be my fourth year in a motorsport and I still have a lot to learn, but I am ready to give 100% both mentally and physically to honour the trust ART Grand Prix has in me, together with that of my partners without whom this adventure would not be possible."
ART will face competition from MP, Rodin Carlin, Campos and Prema in F1 Academy. Team principal Sébastien Philippe said entering the series "corresponds perfectly to the philosophy of ART Grand Prix, which is to help young drivers climb the ladder of the junior formulas which lead to the highest level of motorsport."
"The team will do everything sportingly, humanly and technically possible to take up this new historic challenge with Léna," he added.
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