Tatiana Calderón heads to the penultimate round of her GP3 Series campaign at Sepang, Malaysia, ideally prepared to face the challenge offered up by a new track and a tropical climate.
As her rookie season in the Formula 1-supporting championship enters its final stages, Tatiana is looking to keep up her positive recent run of form that has seen her become the series’ highest-ever scoring female driver, following 10th place finishes at both Hockenheim and Monza.
The recently-resurfaced 5.543km Sepang track, designed by Hermann Tilke, is one that the Colombian racer has never faced before. Featuring a mix of long straights, high-speed curves and slower technical sections, the circuit is one of the most demanding on the GP3 schedule, with temperatures in the cockpit often reaching 50 degrees Celsius in the oppressive Malaysian heat.
The task of mastering the Malaysian track will be made all the harder by a reduced amount of practice time, owing to a different schedule – with action commencing on Thursday. Also worth noting is that, for the first time since the season-opening round at Barcelona, the hard compound Pirelli tyre will be in use.
To prepare herself as well as possible, Tatiana has undertaken simulator work at her Arden International team’s UK base, and has been conducting intensive heat training designed to acclimatise her to the high temperatures she is likely to face this weekend as she pursues her goal of scoring more points.
Tatiana Calderón: “I’m looking forward to what is set to be a challenging weekend in Sepang. We only have only 30 minutes of practice time, and it will be the first time at Sepang for most of the GP3 teams and drivers, so it will be a bit of a step into the unknown. The heat, is also going to require another step physically – I have been training hard to get used to the heat better by using a bike in a heat chamber, to get as fit as I can. The track looks amazing, with some long corners, and tyre degradation should be an issue because of the high temperatures. It’s going to be tough, but hopefully we can keep the momentum of the last few rounds going and keep the top 10 finishes and points coming.”
(link to Motorsport.com column – http://www.motorsport.com/gp3/news/tatiana-calderon-now-the-other-drivers-look-at-me-differently-824802/)