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.

Calderon: F1 car "in some ways easier" than GP3
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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

Tatiana Calderon, Sauber Test Driver

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images

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