'F1 is the reason I wake up every morning' - Calderón

Tatiana Calderon (COL) Sauber F1 Team Development Driver
© XPB 

GP3 racer Tatiana Calderón remains determined to break into Formula 1 and put an end to a four-decade absence of women on the Grand Prix grid.

Lella Lombardi was the last female driver to take part in F1 when she competed in 1976 Austrian Grand Prix.

Women including Susie Wolff and María de Villota have served as test drivers to F1 teams, while Claire Williams and Monisha Kaltenborn have risen to the top in team management in recent years.

But so far, no female has managed to break into F1's all-male driver preserve in the 21st century. However Calderón firmly believes it's possible.

"I would say to myself all the time, especially in Colombia, are you sure you're going to get into Formula 1?" she told the official Formula 1 website at the weekend.

"But you think to yourself, why not? That's why I wake up every morning, because I want to be an F1 driver.

"It’s not good to say, but I don’t care about them paying me millions. I just want to drive those cars as fast as I can and really get the chance to prove myself. That's why I'm racing GP3.

"F1 is another level, and they need to see the results at the end of the day. They know I'm capable."

Calderón insists that she isn't asking for any special favours or affirmative action, just a fair shot at achieving her dream.

"I don't want to let people give me an opportunity because I'm a woman. I don't want to be taken like that.

"I want to be taken like who I am, as a driver. I think I have something to bring to the table, because I'm very sensitive. I think my feedback is quite good. I really want to earn my place.

Currently competing with Jenzer Motorsport in GP3, Calderón is also Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team‘s test driver.

“I think I will get the chance to test a car, but it depends on the team," he said. "I have already had some time in the simulator last year. It’s bloody quick, but I was quite quick as well. So I feel ready to jump into the car."

Even so, she admitted that female drivers were still looked down on in the sport and had an uphill battle to be accepted.

“If I want people to treat me exactly the same as the guys, it’s not there yet," she said. "It’s difficult when you come to a new team and you have to earn the respect from the engineers and from the guys you race with.

"I’ve found that at Jenzer Motorsport, they don’t have that ego, so it’s working for me at the moment."

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