Tatiana Calderón demonstrated her growing Super Formula with another composed pair of performances in last weekend’s double header at Suzuka.
The Colombian doubled her tally of race starts in renowned single-seater championship at the legendary Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix venue, which hosted two races, as she matched her best finish of the season so far to come home a strong 12th on Sunday.
Tatiana was tackling the challenging figure-of-eight Suzuka layout for the first time, meaning Friday’s two practice sessions were simply about familiarising herself with the track’s many demanding corners and adjusting the set-up of her ThreeBond Drago Corse-run machine.
Qualifying ninth in her group on Saturday morning, Tatiana was 18th on the grid for that afternoon’s race. But after a stop-start race featuring three safety car periods and several big accident, she steadily climbed the order and took the chequered flag in 13th.
Tatiana improved her qualifying time by almost a second on Sunday, and from the same starting position she was again able to negotiate multiple safety car restarts and pick her way through the chaos. At one stage she ran in 11th place and just one position away from scoring points, setting her personal best lap with three laps remaining.
In the end, Tatiana took the chequered flag in 12th – equalling her best finish in the series so far, which she scored on her debut at Motegi back in August – to conclude a satisfying first trip to one of the toughest circuits that her career has so far taken her to.
Tatiana Calderón: “It’s been a positive weekend considering It was my first time at Suzuka. The Super Formula car is amazingly quick and the laptimes are not that far off Formula 1, so it was a bit of a shock at the start of the weekend with the amount of confidence you need to be quick here. But I feel I made a good progression throughout the weekend, and I’m pleased to finish Sunday’s race fighting other cars. The pace was much better in qualifying and the race. We continued to understand the tyres more, and the team did a great job with the pitstop on Sunday and we gained a few positions there. I am quite satisfied with the end result and now I’m looking forward to finishing the season on a high at Fuji.”
Just one race remains on the 2020 Super Formula schedule, which is the season finale at pre-season test venue Fuji Speedway on December 20.