Double R Racing’s Tatiana Calderon was brought back down to earth in a trying FIA Formula 3 European Championship outing at Circuit Park Zandvoort (28-29 September).
The 4.3km-long Dutch circuit was bathed in brilliant sunshine for F3 European Championship free practice, although numerous red-flag stoppages prevented Calderon from settling into a rhythm.
A difficult qualifying session followed. Further stoppages, driver error and traffic meant Calderon was unable to notch up representative lap times and consequently languished at the tail end of the field.
With qualifying so crucial on the narrow and high-speed Dutch circuit, the Colombian lady racer was unable to make an impression during Rounds 22, 23 and 24 on Saturday and Sunday (28-29 September).
The 20-year old Double R Racing contender concluded Round 22 in 21st position, behind Sandro Zellar and ahead of Andre Rudersdorf, before racing to 23rd and 24th in Rounds 23 and 24 respectively.
“It was a challenging weekend for my Double R Racing team and I, to be honest,” said a disappointed Calderon. “Practice was messy, as a lot of red flags prevented me from finding a rhythm and then we had a bad qualifying, which is a disaster at a circuit like Zandvoort. I made a few mistakes and I couldn’t find enough clean air to produce the perfect lap. That’s something I need to keep improving if I want to get better results.
“I have definitely improved my starts since the last round at the Nurburgring, so I don’t have to worry about that now. However, the races were also difficult and I clearly didn’t have the pace, particularly at the back end of the track through Turns 5 and 6. Even though I have been to Zandvoort before, I still need more track time to master its technicalities and become a bit braver – the smallest mistake can easily put you in the wall. I just want to put this weekend behind me and begin preparations for Vallelunga, as it’s another new circuit for me. I’ll spend a lot of time in the simulator and make sure I’m physically and mentally ready for the final two rounds of the championship.”
The penultimate round of the 2013 FIA Formula 3 European Championship – Rounds 25, 26 and 27 – will be held on Italian soil at the Autodromo Vallelunga Piero Taruffi (12-13 October).