Her return to Formula 2 has been one of the feel-good stories of the 2022 season but Tatiana Calderon says that her career might have been very different had a few moments gone differently.

She recalls which three events changed the course of her life, from her early beginnings in karting right up to testing Formula 1 machinery.


“When I first won my first international championship in karting. I was racing in the United States, and it was called Stars of Karting. It was a close Championship and had a lot of like really competitive people there. I proved to myself but also to my parents, it was around the time I had to make a decision on whether I was gonna be a professional or just go to university. Obviously, I didn't want to go to university, so it came at the right time. It was one of the special moments.

“I didn’t really have a plan if I wasn’t racing. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I didn’t want to spend my life sitting at a computer, I wanted to be active. I knew I had it in me to race internationally. It was so much pressure that weekend to just prove to my parents. I was like, give me one shot at it because I want to focus 100% on racing. I was still at school, so it was really really difficult, like doing my homework and then the planes travelling back and forth. I think that weekend definitely changed my life and was one I needed.

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“I hope through my story with me being in F2 again – I’ve been sad that there hasn’t been many women going into F3 but we’ve got to change that. For me to come back and have another opportunity. I think sometimes you have to believe in that and hope that another door opens.

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“The second one would be the podium in British Formula 3. I grew up watching Formula 3, particularly in the UK because of Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton - they all came through there. To be standing on the podium in just my second year in Europe, a lot of things weren’t going the way I wanted it but to have that reward, it was like, ‘okay, I can do this. I can be up there’. It was very gratifying.

“It was probably one of the toughest years of my career doing F3. I always had a good feeling going to Nürburgring, but I never thought that situation would come for me. It was unexpected, and I think that’s the best way. When you have to manage expectations, it’s quite hard but it was a reward that I needed to just keep pushing to stay for another year. It definitely gave me a lot of confidence and helped me get other opportunities for the future.

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“The most amazing day of my career was obviously the Formula 1 test. You dream of that moment; you’ve thought about it for so many years and hope that you’ll be ready and that it will be a great day. In my case, it was amazing, one of the best memories of my career so far.

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“It was surreal. You’re sort of nervous, maybe you want to cry. The build up to it, it was in Mexico, I remember I took an Uber and I had my helmet with me and the security people stopped me like ‘where are you going?’. I was like, ‘I’m going to drive the car!’ – to go through the garage and see so many people in the box waiting for you to jump in, it felt right but the emotions, I think the minute you turn on the engine you go into race mode. The first time out you go learn all of the gears, it’s like a rollercoaster downhill, you get that feeling in your stomach. It was fantastic.”