Tatiana Calderón has proved she is ready to fight at the sharp end of the GP3 Series field after setting the second-fastest time in the final test session of the pre-season at Barcelona.
The newly-promoted Sauber Formula 1 test driver has joined the frontrunning Jenzer Motorsport team for the 2018 season, and since the start of winter testing the combination has proven a potent one.
In February’s opening test at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France, Tatiana laid down an early marker by recording the fifth-fastest time on the second day, ending up a little over half a second off the pace, and was third-quickest in the afternoon session.
She backed up that performance the following month in Jerez, where she placed fifth in an ultra-tight afternoon session on the second day, before impressing again in the third and final test in Barcelona.
At the Spanish F1 Grand Prix venue, which will play host to the opening round of the GP3 season in four weeks’ time, she was second-fastest in the morning session on the first day, and spent much of the afternoon atop the timesheets on the second day, ultimately coming second again and confirming her and the Jenzer team’s competitiveness at all types of circuit.
Tatiana has had an equally busy winter off the track, too. As well as attending the pre-season F1 tests at Barcelona in her capacity as Sauber tester, the Colombian rising star has conducted simulator work, attended the Geneva Motor Show, and taken part in multiple training camps to help her arrive in peak physical shape for the start of the new season.
Now the 25-year-old feels ready to tackle what looks set to be a pivotal season for her hopes of continuing ascending the single-seater ladder and reaching her goal of landing a race drive in F1.
Tatiana Calderón: “It was a very positive pre-season of testing, to be honest. Since Paul Ricard we’ve been really competitive at all the tracks we’ve been to, and we finished on a high in Barcelona, where next month we will start our first race. Now we have just under one month to look at all the data we have gathered and really prepare for the first round in the best possible way. So far the team has done a really good job, I feel very comfortable both in the car and with the team. Hopefully we can keep that momentum going for the first round and start the season off with a strong result.”
2018 GP3 SERIES CALENDAR 11-13 May Barcelona, Spain 22-24 June Le Castellet (Paul Ricard), France 29 June – 1 July Spielberg, Austria 6-8 July Silverstone, Great-Britain 27-29 July Budapest, Hungary 24-26 Aug Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium 31 Aug – 2 Sep Monza, Italy 28-30 Sep Sochi, Russia 23-25 Nov Yas Marina, UAE