Tatiana Calderon drove an old Sauber for two days at Fiorano, as the young Colombian racer was given more track time after a successful promotional run with the team in Mexico three weeks ago.
Calderon, who currently competes in GP3 with Jenzer Motorsport, has been a development driver at Sauber for the last two seasons, and was given his first taste of F1 machinery at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico days after the Grand Prix there. That was a promotional day on behalf of Sauber and team sponsor Telmex, who also sponsor Calderon.
Off the back of that, Sauber opted to give her two more days at the wheel of an F1 car. For this, they gave her the use of an old V-8 engined Sauber C32 Ferrari, the car used by the team in 2013 by Esteban Gutierrez & Nico Hulkenberg. She was let loose on Ferrari’s Fiorano circuit, and spent the weekend pounding around the track.
She put in 90 laps, the equivalent of 265 kilometres on Day 1, and a further 112 laps on Day 2 to bring her total distance up to just under 600 kilometres. Her best time was 58.802, set on promotional tyres from Pirelli that are designed specifically for this kind of use, which falls outside of the rules regarding F1 testing with contemporary equipment.
“It was a really great first experience driving in Fiorano.Driving the Sauber C32-Ferrari feels incredible, and the sound and power of the V8 engine are amazing.
“We focused on qualifying simulations in the morning, and long-runs in the afternoon. Overall, the past two days have been very beneficial to my development and I have gained valuable experience. The team did a great job in the preparation as well as the implementation of my programme and I felt comfortable in the car as well as on the track. I look forward to putting what I have learned to practice.”
Calderon now returns to GP3 and onto the final two rounds of the year in Abu Dhabi. She is currently P16 in the standings, with her best result coming in the most recent race at the Sochi Autodrom where she finished P7.