TATIANA READY TO RESUME F2 BATTLE IN BAKU
Tatiana Calderón’s rookie campaign in the FIA Formula 2 Championship continues this weekend with a pair of races on the streets of Baku, home of the Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix.
After making her F2 debut last month in Bahrain, Tatiana will have two more opportunities to impress the watching grand prix paddock at the high-speed and notoriously unpredictable street venue.
The Alfa Romeo F1 test driver will be tackling the challenging 6.003km Baku layout, which is the second-longest on the F2 calendar (behind only Spa-Francorchamps), for the first time. But her BWT Arden team is well acquainted with the track, having scored victory there back in 2017 with Norman Nato.
Observers of both F1 and F2 in recent years will know the Azerbaijani track always throws up unpredictable races, thanks in part to its super-long 2km start/finish straight on which F2 cars reach speeds of almost 300km/h. That means the cars run in low downforce trim, making it easier to make mistakes, while the proximity of the barriers means almost all errors are punished severely.
Safety car periods are extremely common – there has yet to be a caution-free F2/GP2 feature race since Baku joined the calendar in 2016 – which means pit strategy can make all the difference.
The presence of the supersoft Pirelli tyre compound will only add to the variability further, while also affording Tatiana more chances to demonstrate her tyre preservation skills and rise up the order. A points finish is the clear target for the Colombian rising star this weekend.
Tatiana Calderón: “I’m very excited to get back to racing, and obviously Baku is a new track for me. It seems pretty challenging, with a high-speed sector three, all the technical parts in sector two and 90-degree corners at the start of the lap. You need good braking stability even though you’re running low downforce because of the long straight, which means set-up is always a compromise. I’m looking forward to discovering a new track, as it’s been a while since I’ve done that, and it will also be my first time with the supersoft tyre compound. I think it will be a very interesting weekend like we’ve seen in previous years at this track and hopefullywe can build on what we did in Bahrain.”
BAKU TIMETABLE (Times in CET, subject to change)
Friday 26 April Practice – 09:00 Qualifying – 13:00
Saturday 27 April Race 1 – 10:00
Sunday 28 April Race 2 – 11:10