Calderon: Readjusting to Super Formula a "big shock"

Jamie Klein
·2-min read

Calderon made her debut in the Japanese single-seater series back in late August in the opening round of the season at Motegi, but was forced to sit out the following two races due to a combination of her commitments in the European Le Mans Series and Japan's quarantine requirements for foreign arrivals.

for this weekend's fourth round of the season at Autopolis.

The 27-year-old said that getting used to the sheer grip on offer in comparison to the Oreca LMP2 car she drove in the ELMS has been a challenge, especially because of the much cooler temperatures and much more demanding track layout compared to Motegi.

Tatiana Calderon(ThreeBond Drago Corse)

Tatiana Calderon(ThreeBond Drago Corse)<span class="copyright">Masahide Kamio</span>
Tatiana Calderon(ThreeBond Drago Corse)Masahide Kamio

Masahide Kamio

For the last two races at Okayama and Sugo, Calderon was replaced at Drago by Super Formula veteran Koudai Tsukakoshi, who scored a best finish of 12th place.

The Colombian said that Tsukakoshi's feedback has been valuable in helping improve fine-tune the car since the Motegi race.

Asked exactly where the car had improved since her last race, Calderon replied: "The traction is much better, and entry stability is a huge improvement. I was surprised by the traction and rear stability, I wish we had that in Motegi!

"Of course you always want more track time, but given that wasn’t possible the next best thing was to have someone as experienced as Koudai who knows where the car is at. He’s done so many years [in Super Formula], it was the best thing we could get."

Given that she concluded Saturday's running 20th, Calderon's expectations for qualifying were justifiably muted, but she remains hopeful of a stronger race showing.

"It’s going to be tough in qualifying; being realistic, if I am ahead of a few cars it would be great, but it won’t be easy," she said. "But we have a good race car and the team is strong on the pitstops, so we’re looking more at the race.

"Maybe seeing the issues with the tyres today, some people will try more than one pitstop. So we need to keep our minds open and be ready to react to the degradation."