Double R Racing’s Tatiana Calderon displayed a mature debut showing in torrential conditions during the opening rounds of the FIA F3 European Championship in Monza this weekend (23/24 March), with rain affecting two out of the three races at the 5.73 kilometre Italian circuit.
The Colombian was only able to qualify in 28th position for the opening race of the season in dry conditions, but soon showed off the pace that she possesses on the opening lap of the race, surging up to 20th position after a magnificent first lap.
After losing a little bit of ground as the race progressed, Calderon eventually fought back to conclude the first race in 19th position, a solid effort on her first outing in the prestigious championship full of Europe’s finest emerging racing talent.
Weather conditions drastically changed for Round 2 of weekend, with wet conditions remaining throughout the chaotic race.
The race initially started under safety car for a period of four laps as drivers acclimatised to the torrential conditions, but once the action commenced, Calderon soon proved her worth and progressed to as high as 25th before a spin at Ascari placed her on the back foot.
Showing true grit and determination, Calderon recovered to 23rd before a huge crash involving Mans Grenhagen, Jordan King and Will Buller saw the safety car deployed. Calderon would compete the race in 20th at the checkered flag.
Round 3 saw the rain continue, leaving the field with no other option but to start behind the safety car for the first three laps of the race.
Once racing had resumed, just four laps of competitive racing took place before the deployment of the safety car due to several cars being stuck in the gravel, this shortly followed by a red flag to conclude the race. Calderon took the chequered flag in 21st from a starting position 27th on the grid.
“It was a tough start to my FIA F3 European Championship campaign,” said Calderon. “Anything can happen here, and I think that the torrential weather conditions didn’t help the situation this weekend.”
“I still think that I have come away from the weekend having learnt a lot. The next round of the championship is at Silverstone, so I will go to the UK and do some simulation work as I have never previously raced there, and hopefully we can progress with our performance next time out.”
“I’m really looking forward to getting back out on track and believe that there is a lot more to come from me next time out at Silverstone.”
To keep track of latest updates, please like Tatiana Calderon’s Facebook page or alternatively, you can follow @TataCalde on Twitter.