Colombian Tatiana Calderon has joined Sauber in the role of development driver, hoping eventually to break the male domination of the Formula One starting grid.
“I look forward to working with the team and learning as much as I can. It is a step closer to my dream – one day competing in Formula One,” she said in a team statement on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old will race in the GP3 support series this season while also embarking on a Sauber programme that includes simulator training and working with engineers.
Swiss-based Sauber are the only team with a female principal, Monisha Kaltenborn, although former champions Williams are effectively run by founder Frank Williams’ daughter Claire.
Sauber previously had Swiss racer Simona de Silvestro as an ‘affiliated driver’, aiming at bringing her to Formula One, but that ultimately came to nothing. She raced in the all-electric Formula E series and is now competing in Australia.
Formula One has not had a woman driver start a grand prix since 1976.
Juan Pablo Montoya, a race winner for Williams and McLaren between 2001-06, is one of only two Colombians to have started a Formula One grand prix. The other was Roberto Guerrero in 1982-83.
The Sauber F1 Team is pleased to announce Tatiana Calderón as a Development Driver for 2017. The 23-year-old started her racing career in karting back in her home country Colombia when she was nine years old.
In 2012 Calderón moved to Europe competing in several single seater racing series. To mention one highlight, in 2015 she finished second overall in the MRF Challenge Formula 2000.
In 2016 Calderón moved on to the GP3 Series, support race to Formula 1. In addition to becoming a Sauber F1 Team Development Driver, she will compete in the GP3 Series again in 2017.
The Sauber F1 Team will provide Tatiana Calderón with an extensive Young Driver Development Programme which includes professional simulator training sessions and coaching with the engineers on-site during some GP weekends as well as in Hinwil.
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “We are very pleased to welcome Tatiana onboard to the Sauber family. We have the opportunities 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.”
Tatiana Calderón: “I am extremely happy to join the Sauber F1 Team as a development driver. I want to thank Monisha Kaltenborn and the whole team for giving me this opportunity, and also Escuderia Telmex for their support. I am grateful to be working with such an established Formula 1 team and to benefit from its long experience. I look forward to working with the team and learning as much as I can. It is a step closer to my dream – one day competing in Formula 1!”
- Date of Birth: 10 March 1993
- Place of birth: Noguera (Colombia)
- Nationality: Colombian
- Website: www.tatianacalderon.com
- 2016 GP3 Series, 21st
- 2015 MRF Challenge Formula 2000, 2nd
- 2014 Formula 3 European Championship, 15th
- 2013 British Formula 3 International Series, 7th
- 2012 European F3 Open, 9th
- 2011 Star Mazda Series, 6th
- 2005 – 2010 Karting