Tatiana Calderón put herself back in the points in last weekend’s GP3 Series round at Monza, Italy, in what was her strongest outing in the championship to date.
Building on the promise shown at Spa and Hockenheim, the Colombian rising charged from 15th on the grid to 10th in the first Monza race, scoring her second point, and put herself in position for a double points-finish in the second race before getting tangled up in a crash that wasn’t her fault.
The weekend started in difficult fashion as a gearbox oil leak condemned Tatiana to the bottom of the timesheets in Friday evening practice, compromising preparations for Saturday morning’s all-important qualifying session.
Despite that setback – and the added obstacle of a late red-flag just as she was on course for a personal best time, which meant her one shot at a lap time would be hampered by traffic – Tatiana showed a clear improvement in her one-lap form to start 15th for the opening race on Saturday evening.
From there, she was able to climb to 11th in the opening laps before making her move on Alex Palou for 10th with three laps remaining, going on to finish right on the tail of the eighth and ninth-placed drivers.
Starting 10th for the second race on Sunday Morning, another strong start for Tatiana promoted her to eighth from the outset, just behind her Arden International team mate Jack Aitken.
But a chance of a double points-finish was taken away from here by a clash between the ART cars of Nirei Fukuzumi and Charles Leclerc just ahead, which she was powerless to avoid getting involved in.
Had she been lucky enough to dodge the incident, a top-six position could have been in the offing, but instead Tatiana was forced to return to the pits for a replacement nose. She made a valiant recovery to 13th on the road, although a five-second time penalty for pitlane speeding dropped her to 16th.
Tatiana Calderón: “All in all, it has been a very positive weekend. After what happened with the oil leak in practice and the red flag in qualifying, to be only six tenths off pole was not too bad – although I felt I had the pace to be in the top 10. But being able to save a set of tyres from practice helped a lot in the first race; I enjoyed the battles I had and my rhythm was really strong. The second race started well, I was really happy to be in the top eight and pressuring my team mate Jack, but when Leclerc and Fukuzumi crashed I just couldn’t avoid it. At least from the back I was able to make some more good moves and show again that I had the speed, so I look forward to more of the same in Malaysia.”
With the penultimate round of the GP3 calendar in Sepang still a month away, Tatiana heads next to the Red Bull Ring in Austria for her return to the Euroformula Open championship on 9-11 September.