Tatiana Calderon undertook her first-ever Formula 1 run with Sauber in Mexico on Tuesday after Antonio Giovinazzi’s tyre test with Sauber.
It was a monumental day for Sauber’s test and development driver Calderon who got her maiden run in the 2018’s C37 car in Mexico – two days after the grand prix event. The Colombian became the second driver in recent times since Susie Wolff to drive a F1 car.
The filming day where she was only allowed to complete 100 km in the car was used to the fullest extent by the driver and team as she did three separate runs with the best time registered in the 1m23s bracket and 23 laps – although lap times were not counted hugely.
— Telcel (@Telcel) October 30, 2018
It was a clear run without any major issues for Calderon on a slippery track due to rain early in the day. Calderon’s whole family was present for the big event along with a huge media presence to capture the historic moment.
The Colombian felt good after the run. As it is with many other young drivers, she felt the power surge immediately as well and the different braking lines to be taken in a F1 car as opposed to the GP3 car she drives.
Sauber, as well, were happy with Calderon’s first run where she did not make any mistake and passed the first hurdle with full marks. It remains to be seen how their association is taken forward and if she gets to drive in various tests and or in FP1 next year.
“Driving the Sauber C37 today was an incredible experience,” she said. “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.”
Sauber’s Xevi Oujolar added: “Tatiana drove a Formula One car for the first time today and did a very good job. We are happy to see her perform so well, and once again were impressed by her dedication and work ethic. This event marks a positive step for our sport, and we look forward to seeing Tatiana continue to make progress.”
At the same time, the team’s 2019 driver Giovinazzi completed Pirelli’s 2018 tyre test for next year’s compounds. Mexico was the last test for this year with the next run scheduled in Abu Dhabi after the 2018 season with all the teams present.
The damp conditions meant they could only do 99 laps with the wet weather tyres in use as they collected more data in genuine wet weather conditions rather the artificial ones they had at Paul Ricard to test those compounds.