Tatiana ended her weekend at the Red Bull Ring with mid-pack results, ultimately ending her weekend with a cancelled race on Sunday due to heavy rain and too much standing water on the track.
With the second half of the race season underway, the upcoming races are crucial to gaining any possible points towards the championship. The famed Red Bull Ring is where the 34 talented drivers called home for the weekend’s events. The Austrian-based circuit not only includes numerous elevations changes, but it also provides ample opportunity for overtaking.
Practice and qualifying brought mixed results for Tatiana. She found herself in the upper half of the field during both practice sessions. Tatiana pushed herself to the limits to test exactly what the car was capable of providing. In just under a minute and a half lap times, Tatiana found herself within tenths of a second of the pack of cars around her. By the end of practice two, she was just four tenths off of the lead pack.
Qualifying was unfortunately not a representation of her speed in practice. For qualifying one, Calderon simply could not get her green sectors together to create the perfect lap time. She placed herself mid-pack in P17 for the start of race one. For qualifying two, Tatiana and Carlin decided to play with the setup of the car in hopes that a more positive result would come out of it. Tatiana worked diligently around the track, perfecting any inconsistencies that she had in previous sessions. She was having a solid run until the #8 of Alessio Lorandi pulled out on track in front of Calderon causing her to slow down and take extra time getting around him. The end of qualifying two put her in P19. Tatiana hoped to start the final race in a better position, but P16 is where she would end up.
The first of three races began under good track conditions, allowing for a full push through the field. Starting on the outside row in the middle of the pack meant getting passed as many drivers as possible to avoid any erratic drivers. Getting a good run out of the first corner at this circuit is extra important as the track not only kinks but is uphill. With this in mind, Tatiana managed to jump off the line and have a clean run through turn one. Although the drivers were bunched together it allowed many opportunities for overtaking and Calderon did just that. By the end of lap one she had picked up two positions putting herself in P15. Still on the move, Tatiana picked off another two drivers, moving to P13 by lap 7. At this point in the race Calderon was leading an impressive pack of cars and was able to hold off the drivers behind her. Following the mid-race scramble, Tatiana separated herself from other drivers and was able to maintain her P13 position which is where she finished the race.
With a solid first race behind her, it was time for Tatiana to look ahead at the second race. She originally had qualified P19, but the Frenchman, Brandon Maisano had a sudden exit of the F3 series, which moved Calderon up to P18. The start of the race is where Tatiana excelled, immediately moving up two positions. Unfortunately, her high would not last long as the #29 of Arjun Maini slammed into the back of Tatiana causing her to spin and lose her position. The accident brought her all the way to the back of the field, but as determined as she was, Tatiana played her cards right and had some amazing overtaking moves. Tatiana had a car that was able to run higher up in the pack, and she used it to her advantage and moved all the way up to P21.
After two days of amazing weather, it all came to an end in the early hours of Sunday’s race day. Pouring rain drenched the track causing an initial two hour delay of the final race, in hopes that the track conditions would dry up. Once the second restart began at 1:25pm it was initially under a safety car to be sure that there was not too much standing water on the track’s surface. After three laps under a safety car, the race was red flagged and the drivers were brought to the starting grid where they waited until an official decision was made. After 20 minutes on grid, it was decided that the drivers would attempt a restart. With only four minutes on the clock, not much time was left for any good racing. Following the safety car again for two laps ultimately ended in another red flag, which officially concluded the race. Unfortunately, all Tatiana and the rest of the FIA F3 field were left with was soggy clothes and no racing. Tatiana finished the last race where she started in P16.
Tatiana Calderon: “I think overall it was a positive weekend, we showed some good pace from free practice on and early on in qualifying. We had some strong pace in the races and I felt we had a lot of potential but due to circumstances out of our control we didn’t ended up where I thought we should have been but that’s racing. I felt we made a step forward and now he have some time to work on the weak areas before Portimao testing and race in a month. I can’t wait!”
Tatiana has another break until her next race on the 4th-6th of September at Portimao in Portugal.