Colombian and BWT Arden driver Tatiana Calderón hopes her performances and results can influence young girls into joining single-seater racing series such as FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3.
The twenty-six year old is the first female driver to ever compete in the Formula 2 series having stepped up from GP3 Series, where she raced in for three seasons between 2016 to 2018. She achieved her best championship finish last year with Jenzer Motorsport with 16th place before stepping up to F2 in 2019.
Calderón’s season so far has been challenging, with no points scored from the three rounds so far in F2, but the Alfa Romeo Racing test driver was close to capturing a result at the Baku Feature race.
Using the alternative strategy, the Arden driver led part of the race as the rest of the field made their pit stop. The chance of capturing her first points of the year fell through when she retired with a mechanical problem.
Despite the retirement from the race, Calderón told FIA Formula 2 that taking the lead of the race for the first time was a cool moment, and hopes it can be a positive step in aspiring girls to come into series like F2 and the new F3 series.
“It was a cool moment,” commented Calderón. “I didn’t expect it, also because I stalled and had to start from the pit lane.
“I thought that if I was going to be leading at some point, then it would be quite difficult because we lost quite a lot of time.
“It was a good feeling, but obviously I want to be leading properly and be in contention to win a race. I think that it was a positive step and I hope that can encourage girls to come and join Formula 3 and then later on go into F2 as well.”
Outside of her roles with Arden and Alfa Romeo, Calderón is an ambassador with Dare To Be Different and the FIA’s Women in Motorsport, programmes that aim to aspire and influence young girls to take part in Motorsport.
Calderón’s recent jump into F2 has been a highlight for women in Motorsport, being the first female driver to follow closely to F1 since Susie Wolff‘s stint as a Williams‘ test and reserve driver.
The Baku weekend as a whole saw plenty of drama and exciting racing over that weekend, with Calderón saying that the drivers’ themselves are enjoying racing the series due to the amount of action it can produce.
“It shows how competitive F2 is. People enjoy watching our races and we enjoy driving them because there is a lot of action. I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Calderón’s weekend in Baku didn’t pay off well after her retirement in the Feature race, as on the following day for the Sprint race, she was involved in an opening lap crash with Trident‘s Ralph Boschung and Carlin‘s Louis Delétraz. She was handed a three-place grid penalty in Barcelona.
Despite no finishes in Baku, and ending the Barcelona round with two thirteenth places, the Colombian says the strategy call in Baku was brave and were capable of scoring points at that weekend.
“I think that in some ways I was a bit brave to change stuff and go with a different strategy and I think that to be honest it was paying off, although it is sad that we had to end it with a technical issue.
“I think that it shows that in the race we had quite good pace and we are capable of scoring points. I take that as a very positive weekend.”