Tatiana Calderón’s frustrating start to her GP3 Series career continued at Silverstone, as ill fortune in qualifying and both races again left her with nothing to show for her efforts.
The Colombian racer once more showed points-scoring potential at the legendary British Grand Prix venue, but was caught out by a badly timed red flag in qualifying before more reliability woes struck in the races – resulting in a 17th place finish in the first and a DNF in the second.
Tatiana’s weekend started in relatively low-key fashion in Friday evening practice, the Arden International driver ending the session 14th on the timesheets, but she was set to deliver much more during Saturday’s qualifying session, which took place in mixed conditions.
However, the 23-year-old was one of a number of drivers who lost out as a result of a red flag period caused by a collision between Charles Leclerc and Santino Ferrucci, which was followed by a rain shower – preventing Tatiana from setting a time on new tyres and condemning her to an unrepresentative 18th place on the grid for the opener.
Her luck failed to improve at the start of the Saturday afternoon race, as clutch issues saw her plummet to the back of the field. While she made up five places over the course of the 20-lap encounter to finish 17th, the fact she ended seventh in the fastest lap classification – well ahead of her Arden teammates – was a demonstration of what could have been.
The second race, taking place on a damp track on Sunday morning, promised an opportunity for Tatiana to demonstrate her prowess, but a power issue at the start meant that she again lost vital ground on the first lap, dropping three places from her grid slot to 20th.
She had managed to recover to 14th, and looked set to challenge for points before a repeat of the problem occurred during the second Virtual Safety Car period – which caused her pursuer Jake Hughes to crash into the rear of her car, eliminating her from contention.
Tatiana Calderón: “Overall, it was another very disappointing weekend, especially because I had more pace than what I was able to show. I was unlucky with the timing of the red flag in qualifying, which meant we couldn’t put new tyres on. In race one, I had a problem with the clutch at the start, so I stalled; from thereon the pace was really strong, but it’s always difficult to overtake when all my competitors are so closely matched in terms of pace. Then in race two, I had some sort of issue with the power after the start – the car went into ‘safe mode’, and the same again happened with the Virtual Safety Car, so I got hit from behind. Now we move on and start to prepare for the next races in Hungary.”
After two back-to-back race weekends, Tatiana gets a short window to rest before she heads to the Hungaroring for the fourth round of the GP3 championship trail on 22-24 July.