Tatiana Calderón will make her first appearance at Japan’s legendary Suzuka Circuit this weekend as her maiden campaign in the Super Formula championship continues.
The Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix venue, which hosts the fifth and sixth rounds of the seven-round 2020 season, will be the third new track Tatiana has had to adapt to in her first season racing in the East Asian country with the ThreeBond Drago Corse team.
After making a successful return to Super Formula for last month’s Autopolis round, the Colombian rising star is keen to put everything she has learned so far to good use for her first experience of the daunting 5.807km Suzuka track, as she tackles famous corners like Degner, Spoon Curve and 130R for the very first time.
As well as a new track to learn, there are several novelties for Tatiana this weekend, including a three-day weekend format. With two races instead of just one, the Colombian and her team will have the chance to hone the set-up of their Honda-powered Dallara between races, and use the knowledge gained from the first race to help in the second.
There will also be tyre warmers for the first time this season, always a bonus in the wintry conditions of December, and in the second race the Overtake System (OTS) will be available for 200 seconds instead of the usual 100 seconds, a change that is sure to help make passing – which can often be tough in the high-downforce Super Formula cars – a little easier.
Tatiana Calderón: “This weekend is a special occasion because Suzuka is a pretty incredible circuit. Everyone I have talked to in F1 always speaks highly about it, and with the downforce of the Super Formula car it’s going to be very enjoyable and at the same time a huge challenge. It’s a new track for me and we’ve only two practice sessions, and having two races in two days will be quite intense, although it gives us a chance to improve in the second race. We have a lot to learn still, but after Autopolis I feel like I understand the tyres better. With tyre warmers this weekend it will be a bit different, but I am used to using them from other series, so hopefully we can get on top of that and have a strong weekend.”
SUZUKA WEEKEND SCHEDULE
all times JST (GMT +9) and subject to change
Friday 4 December
Practice 1 – 0945
Practice 2 – 1345
Saturday 5 December
Qualifying 1 – 0910
Race 1 (30 Laps) – 1315
Sunday 6 December
Qualifying 2 – 0915
Race 2 (30 Laps) – 1315