Female racing driver and Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team‘s test driver Tatiana Calderón believes the new all-women W Series would be good for young girls introducing into Motorsport, but admit it would be a ‘step backward’ for her career.
The Colombian racer tested with the Swiss team in a promotional event at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in her first drive with an Formula 1 car, days after the Mexican Grand Prix.
Calderón’s drive in an F1 car was a first for a Latin-American female driver, completing 23 laps in the C37. Sauber were impressed with her professionalism, focus and skill in her first time behind an F1 car.
The twenty-five year old had ‘lots of fun’ in her first drive, relishing the power, braking and grip of an F1 car for the first.
“Driving the Sauber C37 today was an incredible experience,” said Calderón.
“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.”
Alongside Calderón’s duties with Sauber, the Colombian races in the GP3 Series with Jenzer Motorsport. This is her third year within F1’s support series and aims to make the step up to FIA Formula 2 next year.
Throughout her career, Calderón has raced against men and women in her climb to her dream to drive in F1. This year saw David Coulthard and other key Motorsport figures form the W Series, an all-female racing series aimed to introduce Motorsport to new and upcoming women drivers.
The announcement received mixed reactions from the Motorsport community, relating to whether the series is segregating women to men in Motorsport or whether the new series will create opportunities for women.
Calderón showed support to the series for introducing girls into racing, but speaking to German newspaper Bild believes that her making a move to the series would be a ‘step backward’.
“Well, it is definitely good for young girls to be introduced to the formula (type) cars, but for me, it would be a step backward,” Calderón added.
“They use Formula 3 cars there, and I want to go to Formula 2. And I’m always measuring myself against the best.”
Calderón reinforces her dedication towards her goal of racing at the top by the level of training regiment she does, in order to compete against men in racing.
The Colombian says that her training has helped her improve her muscles, especially on her neck where the G-forces mainly hits the driver when racing.
“Women naturally have 30 percent less muscle, so I have to work more.
“Especially on the neck muscles. I have already gained 9 centimeters in terms of circumference in that area.”