Tatiana Calderón made her Monaco race debut in last weekend’s fourth round of the FIA Formula 2 Championship season, but a pair of incidents not of her own making meant she came away from the famous principality empty-handed.
The Alfa Romeo F1 test driver was holding her own in the top 10 during Friday’s opening race, before she was tipped into a spin by Mick Schumacher at the Rascasse corner.
Similar misfortune struck Tatiana in Saturday’s second race as Luca Ghiotto punted her into the barriers at Mirabeau on only the second lap.
With no prior experience of the gruelling Monaco Grand Prix venue, Tatiana knew she faced an uphill battle to score points. Qualifying proved tough, as the Colombian could do no better than 10thin her qualifying group, putting her 19thon the grid for the first race.
At the start of Friday’s opener, Tatiana was one of several drivers to cut the first corner, Sainte-Devote, in a bid to avoid any potential carnage unfolding on the racing line. For this, she was handed a 10-second time penalty.
Despite that setback, Tatiana, who started on the harder-compound soft tyre, rose up the order as cars ahead pitted, and was up to ninth place after a handful of laps. But shortly before half-distance, Mick Schumacher tried to dive up her inside at Rascasse and made contact with Tatiana, who spun and blocked the circuit.
This caused the race to be stopped – and an error by the race stewards meant that all the drivers caught up in the incident lost a lap. Tatiana had not yet taken her pitstop, so that extra delay combined with her 10-second penalty left her down in 14that the finish.
A difficult weekend was rounded out by Luca Ghiotto trying to force his way by Tatiana at the tight Mirabeau corner early in the second race, and the resulting contact sent the Colombian driver into the barriers and into retirement.
Tatiana Calderón: “Overall it was a tough weekend with mixed emotions. Of course, it was incredible to make my debut on the streets of Monaco,it’s an incredible track to drive, but at the same time you need to gain a lot of confidence to be able to push to the maximum between the walls. We were looking for a much better position in Race 1 compared to qualifying, we made a big step forward there. Unfortunately, with the strategy and some penalties, it didn’t really work out. Then in Race 2 sadly it ended way too early; not much I could have done to avoid this. Of course, I would like to return to Monaco in the near future and now I’m looking forward to the next races at Paul Ricard and the Red Bull Ring.”
Tatiana’s F2 campaign with the BWT Arden team continues next month at the Paul Ricard circuit, home of the French Grand Prix, on 21-23 June.