The 23-year-old Colombian will combine her duties for Sauber with a second season in GP3, a championship where last year she became only the second female driver to score points. She also enjoyed a podium finish at the Red Bull Ring in the Euroformula Open Championship.
Prior to that she spent three years in European Formula 3 and also finished runner-up to Pietro Fittipaldi in the 2015-16 MRF Challenge.
At Sauber her role will largely consist of simulator work at the factory and attending races with the rest of the team. There’s been no word yet on whether she’ll actually get to drive an F1 car, but an opportunity may come up during a young driver test later in the year.
“I am extremely happy to join the Sauber F1 Team as a development driver,” Calderon said. “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!”
I am grateful to be working with such an established Formula 1 team and to benefit from its long experience.
Sauber have taken on female drivers in the past – Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro tested for the team in 2014 before splitting with them over a contract dispute. The last woman to drive an F1 car was Susie Wolff, when she took over Bottas’ Williams in FP1 at the British GP in 2015.