Tatiana Calderón has taken a step closer to her Formula 1 dream after being announced as an official development driver for the Sauber F1 Team for the 2017 season.
In her new role, the Colombian rising star will work closely with the illustrious Swiss team, which is celebrating its 25th season in F1 this year, as she continues her progression towards her ultimate aim of being a fully-fledged race driver in the pinnacle of motorsport.
Sauber is famed for its work with promising up-and-coming Grand Prix drivers, with four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, 2007 F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen and other top-line performers such as Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica and Sergio Perez having all cut their teeth with the Hinwil-based outfit, and Tatiana is set to benefit from this considerable expertise.
The team’s interest in the 23-year-old serves to further underline the potential she has demonstrated not only in the GP3 Series last season, but other single-seater categories such as the Florida Winter Series, the FIA European Formula 3 championship and the MRF Challenge Formula 2000 series.
As well as undertaking simulator work, Tatiana will also attend a number of F1 races with Sauber throughout the 2017 season, observing the team in action from the garage and taking part in meetings and debriefs with the senior engineering team and the race drivers. Sauber will also support Tatiana as she embarks on a second season of racing in the GP3 Series, after her head-turning performances in the F1 support series last season. The Bogota-born, Madrid-based racer was a points’ scorer last season, and expects to build on her experience and improving performance as she switches to the DAMS squad for the 2017 campaign.
Tatiana had her first experience of working with DAMS during the post-season Abu Dhabi GP3 tests in 2015 ahead of the French team’s full arrival in the series, and did a further day of running with the team at the United Arab Emirates track last autumn following the conclusion of the 2016 season.
Tatiana Calderón: “I am extremely happy to join the Sauber F1 Team as a development driver. I want to thank Monisha Kalterborn and the whole team for giving me this opportunity and also Escudería Telmex for their support. I am grateful to work with such and established Formula 1 Team and to benefit from its longtime experience. I look forward to work with the team and to learn as much as I can. It is a step closer to my dream – competing one day in Formula 1!”
“My Sauber role will be a great addition to my race programme in the GP3 Series with DAMS, where I plan to build on my experience from last year. DAMS run a very professional operation and it is the perfect place for me to continue to improve on the strengths I was able to show last year while further developing my speed and race-craft in one of the toughest junior championships in the world. I’m very happy to face the 2017 season with such a complete and solid programme.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal Sauber F1 Team: “We are very pleased to welcome Tatiana onboard to the Sauber family. We have the possibilities and facilities to provide Tatiana a professional platform, on which she can further develop her knowledge and skills in racing. I am convinced that we can provide her lots of in-depth motorsport know-how for her future career in racing.” Jean-Paul Driot, DAMS: “2016 was our first year in GP3 and we achieved some very strong results, confirming our potential and improving throughout the season. We are delighted to have such a strong line-up this year. We have known Tatiana for some time and followed her progress throughout 2016. She’s very focused and dedicated, so we are confident of achieving some good results together.”
The new GP3 season commences at the Barcelona circuit on 12-14 May, with the first of three pre-season tests set to take pace at Estoril on 22-23 March.
ABU DHABI (UEA), 30 November, 1 -2 December 2016 – GP@ and GP3 test at Yas Marina Circuit. Tatiana Calderon #27 DAMS. © 2016 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency / LAT Photographic
2017 GP3 SERIES CALENDAR
Pre-season test, Estoril – 22-23 March Pre-season test, Barcelona – 19-20 April Pre-season test, Valencia – 25-26 April Barcelona – 12-14 May In-season test, Hungaroring – 6-7 June Red Bull Ring – 7-9 July Silverstone – 14-16 July Hungaroring – 28-30 July Spa-Francorchamps – 25-27 August Monza – 1-3 September Jerez – 6-8 October Abu Dhabi – 24-26 November