Sauber was impressed by Tatiana Calderon’s approach to her first run in a Formula 1 car in Mexico.
On Tuesday, Calderon completed 23 laps of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as part of a promotional event, taking over the current C37 from Antonio Giovinazzi after a day of tire testing for Pirelli. Although the running had to take place on special demonstration tires, Sauber’s head of track engineering Xevi Pujolar says the 25-year-old acquitted herself well.
“Tatiana drove a Formula 1 car for the first time and did a very good job,” Pujolar said. “We are happy to see her perform so well, and once again were impressed by her dedication and work ethic. This event marks a positive step for our sport, and we look forward to seeing Tatiana continue to make progress.”
Calderon is a Sauber test driver but had yet to drive an F1 car before this week, and says it didn’t take her long to get used to the team’s 2018 car.
“Driving the Sauber C37 was an incredible experience,” Calderon said. “The power, braking and grip of this car are unbelievable, and I felt very comfortable on track. After a few laps, you start getting used to the speed, and I had lots of fun.
“I want to thank the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, Excuderia Telmex, Telcel, Infinitum and Claro for giving me this opportunity today, and trusting me to do the job. This is a day I will remember forever.”
The Colombian — who currently sits 16th in the GP3 championship after three consecutive top-ten finishes — says her next aim is to secure a Formula 2 drive in 2019.
“That’s the plan. We’re still waiting and organizing, but I would love to do Formula 2 and to start testing in Abu Dhabi after the end of season race, would be amazing.
“We are putting everything together. Also it depends on which team you go with the budget, there is quite a lot, but our intention is to really go for Formula 2.”