Alfa Romeo have confirmed that Tatiana Calderon and Juan Manueal Correa will drive F1 cars in a private test at Paul Ricard this weekend.
The two Alfa Romeo affiliated drivers will take part in F1 tests in France this Friday and Saturday.
Calderon, signed to Alfa as test driver, has been part of the Alfa/Sauber team since 2017 and completed two tests at the tail end of the 2018 season with them. Now racing in Formula 2 with Arden, the 26 year old drove a private test in the 2018 Sauber C37 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez after last year’s Mexican Grand Prix as well as a two day test at Fiorano with the 2013 car.
During the course of the test, Calderon set a best laptime of 58.802 – a quick enough laptime to register on Fiorano’s lap record board, as well as being within three seconds of the overall record set by Michael Schumacher in Ferrari’s V10-engined F2004.
Calderon will drive that car again this weekend at Paul Ricard, with Alfa holding a two day test at the venue this Friday and Saturday. Due to it being a six year old car, this conforms to Formula 1 testing rules which prevents teams using cars less than three years old for activities outside official test and Grand Prix track time.
Calderon will be joined by Juan Manueal Correa for the test. The 20 year old Ecudaorian currently races in F2 as a rival of Calderon, driving for Sauber’s Junior team Charouz. His best results so far this year have been two P2 finishes – the first in the Baku sprint race, as well as the sprint race at Paul Ricard during the French Grand Prix weekend.
Correa has never driven an F1 car, meaning this test will allow him to experience the unique raw power of one for the first time. Alfa say the test will allow him to develop his working relationship with the trackside elements of the team: “Our team has a proud history of nurturing young talent and we take this part of our mission very seriously.” said Alfa team boss Frederic Vasseur.
“Both Juan Manuel and Tatiana have proven to be valuable members of our team, working with us at the factory and trackside, and this opportunity in the car will help them progress even further in their understanding of Formula One and in building their relationship with the engineers and crew.”
“Driving a Formula One car is something I have dreamt about since I was seven years old, so I am extremely excited to finally be in the cockpit.” said Correa, whose official role with the team is as a development driver. “I am looking forward to learning as much as possible from this experience. Thank you to Alfa Romeo Racing for this opportunity.”
Calderon, no stranger to testing with Alfa, said: “I’m really thankful to Alfa Romeo Racing for giving me another opportunity to drive a Formula One car, following my previous two runs last year. I’m very happy to be able to work with the team on the track once again and continue to learn and develop further as a driver. I look forward to making the most from this new experience.”