We’d like to thank Tatiana, Arden International and GP3 Series for their friendliness and collaboration on this one. Big kudos to everyone involved in the process of making this interview possible. Special BIG thanks to our own Tony Hall, aka Hall of Fame: from Mansell and F1 in the 1980s to the current crop of GP3 drivers, Tony’s wisdom and input are priceless.
Tony Hall: Tatiana, what does it feel like to be driving a GP3 car in 2016 after driving in the F3 FIA European Championship in 2015?
Tatiana Calderón: I think it’s definitely a step forward in my career, it’s a bigger car, more power, you race in all the circuits with Formula 1 and it’s something special. My dream has always been to reach Formula 1 and to be able to be a bit closer is very special. I am really enjoying the extra power compared it Formula 3.
TH: At the moment we do not see many female drivers in motorsport. Who inspired you and who is doing the most for female drivers?
TC: Well, when I was growing up there were no female drivers that I could really just watch and want to be like. I admire what Juan Pablo Montoya did because he is Colombian as well, but at the moment I admire Susie Wolff. She had a taste of Formula 1, she showed that we can be competitive and now she is really keen on helping and (she is busy) with the new initiative for women in motorsport, Dare To Be Different. She is trying to help more females to get into racing, so I think she is the inspiring one.
TH: And how do the male drivers treat you?
TC: In the end we are all racing drivers, but for sure at the start you know they probably don’t respect you that much. When you show them what you are capable of and that you are there to compete and race against them, then they treat you like any other driver.
TH: What habits do you have that you think have contributed to your current success?
TC: I always like to analyse what happened during all the sessions or every time I go out onto the track so I understand where I need to improve, what went wrong and what went well so that I have a plan for the next time. That’s the way it works for me to try and be better every time I go out on the track.
TH: And how has being successful in the racing world influenced the way you go about things in everyday life?
TC: When I do something, I want to do it really good and you can’t be perfect but you try to be as close to perfect as you can and that’s what I try to do in every aspect of my life not just racing. When I train, I want to give 100% and I think it is the key to giving the maximum.
TH: The current situation in Colombia for motorsport is not good. We have not seen many top drivers since Juan Pablo Montoya who you mentioned earlier and who is a former Grand Prix winner, he raced in IndyCar, NASCAR and won the Indianapolis 500 and also Roberto Guerrero who raced in F1 and then Indy, any reason why?
TC: There was definitely a point with Montoya when he reached Formula 1. There are a lot of Colombian drivers now that race with IndyCar, here in GP3 and other formulas, but we need someone else to really break through so that people get more interested in motor racing because at the moment it’s all about soccer over there. Also, we don’t have that many tracks so that makes everything more complicated, however I think what we need is another one of those role models and hopefully I want to be the next one.
TH: Finally, I understand you had a very close relationship with María de Villota, what is the best memory that you have of her?
TC: Well, I was very fortunate because I met her before and after the accident. I just think it’s the passion that she had for the sport: you could see it every day because she was always smiling and she was very determined to get where she wanted to be and that is what I take from her; to enjoy what you do and then everything comes a little bit easier and I admire her for everything she did.
TH: Thank you Tatiana, we wish you every success in GP3 and your future ambitions!