In what she described as ‘an incredible experience’, Sauber test driver Tatiana Calderon got her first taste of Formula 1 machinery on Tuesday, getting behind the wheel of the team’s C37 F1 car for a promotional event in Mexico.
Calderon, who has been with the Swiss team since the beginning of last year and took up her tester role for this season, was given the opportunity to complete up to 100 kilometres at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – and she ultimately completed 23 laps.
“Driving the Sauber C37 today was an incredible experience. The power, braking and grip of this car are unbelievable, and I felt very comfortable on track. After a few laps, you start getting used to the speed, and I had lots of fun," said Calderon.
“I want to thank the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, Excuderia Telmex, Telcel, Infinitum and Claro for giving me this opportunity, and trusting me to do the job. This is a day I will remember forever.”
It marked the first time a female driver from Latin America has driven a contemporary F1 car, and the GP3 racer impressed her Swiss squad.
Sauber’s Head of Track Engineering Xevi Pujolar added: “Tatiana drove a Formula One car for the first time and did a very good job.
“We are happy to see her perform so well, and once again were impressed by her dedication and work ethic. This event marks a positive step for our sport, and we look forward to seeing Tatiana continue to make progress.”
Calderon has been combining her Sauber testing duties with the GP3 series this season, currently sitting 16th in the standings with just one race, the season-finale in Abu Dhabi, remaining.