Calderon: F1 car "in some ways easier" than GP3
Tatiana Calderon has said she feels Sauber's Formula 1 car is "in some ways easier" than her usual GP3 machinery after undertaking her first kilometres in the C37 on Tuesday.
GP3 regular Calderon, who has been on Sauber's books since the start of the 2017 season, was handed an opportunity to drive the current-spec F1 car as part of a filming day at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
The Colombian driver completed 23 laps of the Mexican track across four stints, recording a best laptime of 1m23.170s.
She said she encountered no physical issues during the test - and remarked that despite the huge increase in horsepower the Sauber was easier to handle than her GP3 car, which does not have power steering.
"Obviously the heart rate was a bit high, especially when you see so many cameras and when you start the engine, but the team prepared me very well to know what I had to do at all times," recalled Calderon.
"It has been incredible, a dream come true. You cannot describe what it feels like to be in a Formula 1 car. The first time I accelerated, it seemed like I was on a PlayStation with how fast everything happened.
"The instruction was to take things step-by-step. I honestly did not have any physical problems, that means that the physical preparation has gone in the right direction.
"In some ways I found it easier to handle than the GP3 car. I hope I can continue to show that there is no physical disadvantage [for women].
"Now that this day has passed, I do not want to go back to my GP3 car, I want to stay here! Hopefully I can continue breaking barriers and achieve my dream of reaching F1."
Calderon's performance during the test earned her praise from senior members of the Sauber team.
"She did a good job," commented general manager Beat Zehnder. "The objective of the day was for her to feel the car and to improve her times, she did a fantastic job today."
Head of trackside engineering Xevi Pujolar added: "Today we had a limited test with her and she has proven herself as a professional. She has not had a single problem and is what we expected from her.
"[She can progress] by getting used a bit more to the braking, and if we could do two days of practice she would improve a lot. But being the first time and with so few kilometres, she has been excellent.
"From a GP3 car or an F2 car to a F1 car, the braking points are very different, and especially on a track like this."
Tatiana Calderon, Sauber Test Driver
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images
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