Tatiana Calderon makes F1 debut at Sauber filming day

Tatiana Calderon made her Formula One debut on Tuesday after completing just under 100 kilometers behind the wheel of this year’s Sauber C37.

Calderon was taking part in a filming day with the team at the venue of Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The Colombian GP3 driver completed 23 laps, which brought her just under the 100 km limit imposed on filming days.

She completed the run across four stints using promotional tyres, which do not offer the same level of performance as Pirelli’s race tyres. The filming day means she is the first woman to drive a contemporary Formula One car since Susie Wolff took part in a free practice session with Williams in 2015.

“Driving the Sauber C37 today 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, Escuderia 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.”

Sauber’s head of track engineering Xevi Pujolar added: “Tatiana drove a Formula One car for the first time today and did a very good job. 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, 25, currently races in GP3, which sits one rung below Formula 2 on the ladder to F1. She is currently 16th in the standings on nine points with two races remaining and is hoping to make the step up to F2 next year.

“We are putting everything together,” she said when asked about her plans. “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.

“I think if you want to go to Formula One, now you are obliged to do Formula 2 as well. I’ve been always watching those races, and to be honest, they’re sometimes the best races! I would really like to have a go.

“I think it’s a car that could suit me with the pit stops. I’ve been struggling more with qualifying, and I think in Formula 2, you have a chance even if you don’t do that well in qualy, so hopefully that will be the case.”