Tatiana Calderón capped off a highly impressive debut race weekend in the Formula V8 3.5 World Series by racing to a superb a podium finish at Bahrain.
On a one-off outing with the RP Motorsport squad on what was the final-ever weekend for series, the Sauber F1 development driver finished the two races at Sakhir in fifth and third respectively, stealing the spotlight away from the championship’s regular drivers.
Armed with prior knowledge of the Bahrain circuit from her spell in the MRF Challenge series, Tatiana was quickly up to pace in the Zytek-powered, Dallara-built Formula V8 3.5 car, the most powerful she has raced in her career so far.of
This meant she was able to qualify a strong fifth place for Friday’s opening race, held under the floodlights in the dark, just four tenths of a second off pole position.
Holding her own against rivals much better acquainted to World Series machinery, the 24-year-old converted her grid slot into fifth place at the finish just behind her two RP Motorsport teammates, Roy Nissany and Yu Kanamaru.
Qualifying for Saturday’s second race was tougher, as Tatiana could do no better than ninth, but she made up for this in the race with a scintillating drive, keeping out on trouble in the opening laps and demonstrating impressive pace in clear air.
This speed allowed her to critically jump Nissany during the pitstop phase and ensured she finished an excellent debut weekend with a historic trip to the podium.
Tatiana will now take this positive momentum into the final round of her GP3 Series campaign with DAMS at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi next weekend.
Tatiana Calderón: “I didn’t really have any expectations for this weekend, because everything was new, and the car really different to GP3 in every sense. But I had nothing to lose, and I think I learned a lot this weekend. It was a great experience, a really great car to drive, and now I can see why so many people rate this series really highly. I’m just happy to finish the weekend on a high – and to score a podium position in the last-ever race of the championship in particular is a great feeling.”