Tatiana Calderón remains confident of brighter days to come in Super Formula after completing last weekend’s second round of the season at Japan’s Suzuka Circuit.
The Colombian racer steered her Honda-powered ThreeBond Drago Corse machine to a 17th-place finish after 30 gruelling laps around the legendary Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix venue to maintain her 100 percent finishing record in the series.
After an encouraging start to the season at Fuji Speedway, Suzuka presented an altogether different challenge for Tatiana and her team, with strong winds and rubber laid down by the Japan Superbike runners that were sharing the track with Super Formula this weekend making the conditions peculiar and the ideal set-up that much harder to find.
Against that backdrop, Tatiana knuckled down to the task of preparing the car for qualifying in the Saturday morning practice, but after being drawn in Group B in Q1 – featuring 10 cars instead of nine – she could only manage the 10th-fastest time, leaving her 19th on the grid.
On Sunday, it was simply a case of trying as hard as possible to gain ground for the 28-year-old, who was rewarded for her perseverance as she picked up two positions when other drivers ahead hit trouble, bringing home the car in 17th place.
Tatiana Calderón: “Unfortunately we weren’t able to get the result we were hoping for. There are many things from this weekend that we need to understand, especially in terms of optimising car balance and tyre temperatures. I’m of course disappointed and we will have to analyse why the pace was so lacking this weekend. But we will learn and move on from this; we know where we need to improve and the team is just as determined as I am to resolve the issues and realise our potential, so I am confident this result was just a blip and that next time we can show again the competitiveness we’ve already proved that we have. I hope I can be back for the next round of the season at Autopolis next month, but in the meantime, I’m looking forward to starting my WEC season at Spa this coming weekend.”
Tatiana is travelling directly to Spa to kick off her WEC campaign for Richard Mille Racing, starting with the two-day pre-season Prologue test on April 26-27, while her next planned Super Formula appearance is pencilled in for May 15-16 at Autopolis.