Tatiana Calderon joined Sauber last year to be the team’s development driver. With Ferrari upping its involvement in the team this year and Alfa Romeo coming on board as a technical partner you might wonder if there’d be space for her there this year. But not only has she retained a role with the Swiss outfit, she’s earned a promotion. Calderon said:
“I am very pleased to confirm my role as Test Driver for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team in the 2018 season. This collaboration will build upon the experience that I have gained as Development Driver with the team over the past year, and I look forward to continuing on this positive path together. I have been able to substantially expand and develop my skills as a race driver, and I am convinced that I will be doing so throughout this year.”
Last year as development driver she mainly undertook simulator work, but now she’s become the team’s test driver it suggests she’ll get some sort of running in an actual F1 car. Whether that’ll be in older machinery or actually during a few FP1 sessions with the current car hasn’t been announced yet. Either way, she’ll also continue with sim work, as well as working with engineers trackside.
Team boss Frederic Vasseur said:
“We are very pleased to continue our collaboration with Tatiana Calderon as our test driver. Tatiana is a very hard-working person, who has impressed the team with her focus and dedication. She has made good progress as a driver, developing both her mental and physical capacities continuously over the past few years.”
“Physical capabilities” – is that a subtle jab at Carmen Jorda’s recent comments about how women aren’t strong enough to race certain cars? Probably not.
Calderon has raced in GP3 for the past two seasons and will continue there this year for a third, driving for Jenzer Motorsport. At the end of last 2-2017 she also impressed with a one-off appearance in Formula V8, where she ended up taking a podium.