TATIANA HEADS INTO BREAK ENCOURAGED BY HUNGARY PACE

Tatiana Calderón goes into the FIA Formula 2 Championship’s traditional mid-season summer break buoyed by the pace she showed in last weekend’s eight round at the Hungaroring.

Although the Alfa Romeo F1 test driver again came away empty-handed from the Hungarian track, she made up four positions from her grid slot to finish a competitive 16th in Saturday’s feature race, before her run in Sunday’s sprint race was ended early after she was hit by another driver.

Qualifying proved even more of a challenge than usual for Tatiana as the 30-minute session on Friday took place on a wet track, marking the first time the Colombian rising star has tackled such conditions behind the wheel of her BWT Arden-run Dallara F2 car.

However, her efforts proved to be in vain as both she and her teammate Anthoine Hubert were excluded from qualifying as one of Tatiana’s allocated tyres was fitted to Hubert’s car and vice versa. Both were permitted to start the feature race from the back of the grid.

Unlike in previous races, Tatiana opted for the conventional strategy of a short opening stint on the soft-compound Pirelli tyre rising as high as ninth before switching to the medium tyre on lap eight of 37. She was on course to finish 14th before she was jumped in the closing stages by two drivers who had gone for the opposite strategy and therefore had fresher tyres at the end of the race.

Starting 16th for the second race of the weekend, Tatiana held her ground at the start, but was eliminated on the seventh lap when Campos Racing driver Arjun Maini arrived too hot into Turn 1 and clattered in the front-right of Tatiana’s car, terminally damaging her suspension.

Tatiana Calderón:Overall it was a difficult weekend. Qualifying was very challenging as it was my first time driving this car in the rain, and we didn’t put things together on the second set of wet tyres. It was tricky to adapt in such a short session. In race one we had definitely good pace compared to my teammate [Hubert] and it was encouraging to see we could fight other cars and recover other positions. In race two, I think Maini braked a bit too late and he stopped using my front-right tyre; the impact was enough to end my race. The pace up to that point seemed strong enough to fight the cars around me, so I hope we can carry this over to Spa. We’re still understanding where our weak areas are.”

Tatiana now gets to take a well-earned rest before her F2 campaign resumes with the ninth round of the season at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium on August 30-September 1.