Tatiana Calderón will race in the remaining four rounds of the 2022 Formula 2 season and will do so hand in hand with a compatriot: Karol G, who became her main sponsor.
The prelude category of Formula 1 (F1) confirmed the return of Calderón this Wednesday. She will do it together with Charouz Racing System and as a partner of the Brazilian Enzo Fittipaldi.
The announcement came after the Colombian lost her IndyCar seat with the AJ Foyt Racing team due to late payments from her main sponsor, ROKiT.
At a press conference this Thursday, the pilot shared that a week ago her biggest concern was thinking that she would be out of the tracks for six months, when something unexpected happened.
The unexpected sponsorship of Karol G
According to Calderón, some acquaintances of Karol G put her in contact with her sister, Jessica, and her work group. What started as a few messages on Instagram ended up becoming the singer’s sponsorship.
“She wanted yes or yes to help me get back on track. She gave herself everything very quickly with this opportunity in Formula 2”, said the athlete. “I never imagined that she would be here today competing, and even less being supported by someone like Karol G. It is surreal to think that she is here with this support”.
In some photos shared on her social networks, the Colombian showed the car with which she will compete this weekend in Belgium. In it the words “Bichota” and Karol G stand out, representing sponsorship.
In addition, the team of the interpreter of “Provenza” designed the helmet with which Calderón will run the rest of the season, and which will be revealed soon.
The new Charouz Racing System driver joked that it will be an honor to be the “Bug of Formula 2”, and that she even considered painting her hair blue or red – iconic looks of the singer -, but she did not have time to do so because of the speed with which things happened.
Break the glass ceiling with a second chance in Formula 2
Tatiana Calderón started her car racing career when she was a child, after her father took her and her sister Paula to a go-kart rental track in Bogotá.
Throughout her career in motorsport, she has broken the glass ceiling multiple times. This includes podium finishes in British International Formula 3, leading a race at Spa-Francorchamps during the FIA 3 European Championship, podium finishes in Formula V8 3.5 and racing in Japanese Super Formula.
The 29-year-old Colombian also became the first Latin American to drive an F1 single-seater during the 2018 Mexican GP.
“She had been working for 15 years and dreaming of that moment, of being prepared to drive an F1 and having that opportunity that only very few drivers have,” she previously told in an interview with Business Insider Mexico.
“On the first lap I think my heart skipped a beat. The grip it has is impressive. It was a day to remember.”
For 2019, Calderón broke another milestone by being the first woman to compete in Formula 2. Her best result with the BWT Arden team was 11th place in France. She finished the season without scoring points and in 22nd place.
The campaign was also rocked by the tragic death of her teammate, Frenchman Anthoine Hubert, after he suffered an accident at the Eau Rouge corner at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
In 2020, the driver also became the first woman to drive in Japanese Super Formula. In addition, the following year she competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), LMP2 class, within the Richard Mille Racing women’s project.
After losing her seat in IndyCar due to the lack of payments from her sponsor to the AJ Foyt Racing team, the Colombian will have another opportunity to show her talent in Formula 2.
In this category, she will run the last four rounds: Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Abu Dhabi.
More women need to open the door for others to break the glass ceiling
Previously, in an interview with Business Insider Mexico, Tatiana Calderón highlighted that motorsports is one of the few disciplines in which women can compete hand in hand with men.
This is because there is a car involved and the drivers depend not only on physical strength, but also on mental strength and good communication with their teams.
“We can be as competitive as we want in many areas … but obviously the people, the engineers and the teams are not used to working with a woman,” she said.
In addition to highlighting the responsibility that teams have to understand that women are, think and feel the car differently than men – and make the necessary modifications -, the athlete reiterated this Thursday that it is necessary for more women to occupy high positions in motoring.
According to her, many times, women are the ones who open the doors or provide the first opportunities for others, especially in sectors dominated by men. That was what happened to him with Karol G.
“Worldwide sponsorships in women’s sport are still very scarce. The only way to bring those issues to light is to bring them to the table,” she noted.
“As women we have to support each other. How nice that Karol G, who is in one of her best moments, decides to send that message to support me, when I needed it most.
“You have to show people that you have to believe in Colombian and Latin American talent and, above all, in women,” added the pilot, who also hopes that this sponsorship will encourage companies to provide financial resources to women’s sports.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.