Tatiana Calderón returns to the legendary Suzuka Circuit for this weekend’s second round of the Super Formula season, buoyed by a strong showing at Fuji Speedway.
The Colombian racer will be hoping to carry the momentum over from the opening round of the 2021 campaign at Fuji, where she scored her best-ever grid slot and showed points-scoring race pace at the wheel of her Honda-powered ThreeBond Drago Corse machine.
This will be the third time that Tatiana will have raced at world-famous Formula 1 venue Suzuka in the space of five months, after she contested last year’s double-header at the venue last December. She also completed two days of pre-season testing at the figure-eight layout in March, although with some rain limiting running across the two-day test.
The track itself needs little introduction for motorsport fans, presenting a very different challenge to Fuji with its famous corners like Degner, 130R and Spoon Curve. It’s also a track where the downforce of the Dallara SF19 used in Super Formula really comes into its own: last year, Naoki Yamamoto set a pole position time that would have been good enough to qualify for the most recent running of the F1 Japanese Grand Prix in 2019.
With the weather forecast set to be warm and sunny, and qualifying now taking place on Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday morning as was the case last year, Tatiana is feeling confident that carrying her momentum from Fuji will allow her and the ThreeBond Drago Corse team to truly demonstrate the steps forward they have taken together.
Tatiana Calderón: “I’m looking forward to being back in action again this weekend at Suzuka after a two-week break since the first round of the season at Fuji. We tested there last month and the balance then was not great, but I think we learned a lot at Fuji. We had good pace in both qualifying and the race and we’ve been able to analyse a lot of things that will hopefully help us get those first points at Suzuka. We need a different set-up because of the characteristics of the track, but it seems like the weather will be good, warmer than when we were there for testing, and that can only help with the tyre warm-up. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and putting everything together for a good result.”
SUZUKA WEEKEND TIMETABLE
(all times GMT +9 and subject to change)
Saturday April 24
Practice – 1015-1145
Qualifying – 1510-1614
Sunday April 25
Practice – 0840-0910
Race – 1430 (30 laps or 70 minutes)