Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team test driver Tatiana Calderón has said that she hopes the opportunity to partake in an official Friday Free Practice session arises in 2019, following her promotional run in a Sauber C37 in Mexico City last October.
GP3 Series regular Calderón has been part of the Sauber setup since 2017 and is hopeful of making the step up to the FIA Formula 2 championship for ’19 with Charouz Racing, who are still yet to announce its driver line-up. The Colombian also tested for ABB Formula E champions DS Techeetah after the Ad Diriyah and Marrakesh rounds.
In mid-November, Calderón completed another run for Sauber over two days at Ferrari‘s test track Fiorano – in the 2013-spec C32.
She described the Fiorano outing as a more “proper test” in comparison to the Mexico City run and hopes that some more opportunities will come her way this year – wishing to test herself against the regular Grand Prix field. If she is successful, the 25-year-old will become the first female driver to compete in an official Formula 1 session since Susie Wolff for Williams Racing at the 2015 British Grand Prix.
“I think [Sauber] were quite curious,” Calderon said when speaking to Motorsport.com. “With all this pressure in Mexico, they needed to know what I can really do [at Fiorano].
“I think I showed I could be competitive in an F1 car. I drove alone, so it would be great to compare myself with their drivers and I hope I will get a chance. We’ll have to wait and see, but I’m crossing my fingers it will be like this.
“It’s good they gave me a chance and I responded well. One thing at a time, but when they see I can do well, they will probably want to test me in something a bit more difficult.”
Hoping to boost her Sauber link over the next year, Swiss F2 side Charouz could prove to be a pivotal avenue for Calderón. In November it was announced that Charouz will partner with Sauber to form a development programme for young drivers; the team extending to the new FIA Formula 3 championship and continuing its participation in F2 and the German and Italian regional Formula 4 series.
Calderón tested with Charouz in the post-season F2 test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi and is confident of sorting all her matters out.
“I think [Sauber] are quite happy with what we did, and I would love to stay,” she added. “But first, we need to sort out F2 and then sit down with them.
“I hope we can work everything out to be together next year. We both want it, so it should be a matter of time and putting everything together.”