Tatiana Calderon will be entering her third season of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship in 2015, and has switched over from Jo Zeller Racing to one of the leading teams in the series, Carlin.
The Colombian, who remains the only female driver in the large field, spoke to The Checkered Flag ahead of the opening round of the season at Silverstone with hopes of making 2015 the best year so far in the series.
Calderon revealed the reasons why she joined Carlin, enjoying how she felt when she tested with the team at the end of 2014, and she feels she will develop her career still further with them this season.
“I tested with them at the end of last year and really liked the atmosphere and working environment,” revealed Calderon. “They are one of the most successful teams in F3 so they know what it’s needed to succeed. I really wanted to be part of the Team and finally this year they had a seat available, so I took it.
“They are determined to win, I love their attitude, they are always pushing to get better and to help you develop. They are a really professional team and I have a lot to learn from them.”
With the season just days away, Calderon spoke about what she had be doing to prepare herself for the new season, keeping herself in shape both physically and mentally.
“I have been training both physically and mentally over the winter as well as doing some karting,” said the Colombian. “It is a pretty long break of about 3 months so you need to try and prepared as much as possible in that time because once the season starts there is very little time to do all that preparation.”
The first pre-season test took place at Valencia in March, with Calderon getting a good amount of running, and despite her not being where she wanted to be on the timing screens, she left the Spanish circuit full of confidence for the season ahead.
“We had a pretty positive two days of testing,” insisted Calderon. “It was nice to get back behind the wheel after such a long time. We had mix conditions over the two days, which is always positive, and a great preparation for Silverstone.
“We didn’t end up where we wanted to in terms of position but we tested lots of things that will help us to be more prepared for the season ahead and we have a clear idea of where we need to improve as well.”
Looking ahead to the season, Calderon revealed she is looking forward to returning to the streets of Pau this season, as well as to the scene of her first points finish in the series, Spa-Francorchamps, where she finished an excellent fifth last season.
“[It’s] hard to pick one [thing to look forward to] because I’m looking forward to all season but particularly going back to the Grand Prix of Pau and Spa Francorchamps,” said Calderon. “I like to go step by step and think about one day at the time but my goal is to be fighting consistently in the top 5 and fighting to get on that podium!”
Calderon opened up about having the full support of her family back home, and revealed where it all started – at a go-karting track aged just nine.
“I’m very lucky to have such a supporting family,” insisted Calderon. “Without them I wouldn’t be where I am now. I started karting when I was 9 years old, I went to a rental go-kart track with my sister and we both loved it!
“We started to go there every weekend, and then every day after school until we convince our parents to buy as a go-kart and a lot has happened since then. I’m following my passion and doing what I love most, racing!
“I have been racing for 13 years now and I have race all over the world. Like every athlete you have your ups and downs but I think I have accomplished great things but there is a lot more I want to achieve. I will keep working hard and enjoy it.
“I think every year is important and right now I’m very fortunate to be in the position I find myself in. Once you have the opportunity to have to take it so my focus is on getting the most out of it.”