Ex-Williams test driver Wolff hopeful of Calderon F1 race chance

Ex-Williams test driver Susie Wolff is hopeful Tatiana Calderon will get a Formula 1 race chance in the future, but concedes the superlicence points system is an additional "stumbling block"

Ex-Williams test driver Wolff hopeful of Calderon F1 race chance

Calderon has spent the last three seasons in GP3, earning a best championship result of 16th last year, and this year could become the first female driver to compete in Formula 2 since it was created, as GP2, in 2005.

The 25-year-old made her F1 testing debut last year during private outings with Sauber but FIA regulations state a driver must earn 40 points to qualify for the mandatory F1 race licence.

Calderon's lack of significant championship results means she has no superlicence points to her name.

But Wolff, who became the first woman in 20 years to take part in an official F1 race weekend session when she drove in practice for the 2014 British Grand Prix, said she has been impressed by the Colombian.

"I think Tatiana is doing a fantastic job," Wolff told Autosport.

"I've never doubted her ability, so I hope she keeps progressing and makes it further up."

Asked if Calderon would make it to F1, Wolff - who retired from racing in 2015 and is now Venturi's Formula E team boss - said: "I would like to see that happen.

"F1 changed that you need points for a superlicence. This creates another stumbling block.

"When I was driving there wasn't the need to have points for the superlicence.

"So, obviously she has the challenge of getting enough points in order to qualify, but I would love to see her in the grid.

"Sometimes in F1 it comes down to timing, when there's a seat free and the opportunity comes.

"She showed by driving the Sauber that she is very capable, so I watch and hope."

In 2016 Wolff founded the Dare To Be Different initiative, which operates in conjunction with British motorsport's governing body Motorsport UK to encourage greater female participation in racing.

She believes the attitude towards women in motorsport has "improved a little" but says it is still "unusual" to see women in racing paddocks and on-track.

Her new FE role with Venturi has coincided with the series allowing teams to run an extra car in testing if they field a female driver.

"I have to say that I felt very welcomed into the FE world and I don't have any issues doing my job in the paddock," she said.

"I think it is still a big issue, I'm always asked about it. It was still a big issue when I took the role, but I don't really listen to that noise anymore.

"I know exactly what my job is and I'm very focused in what I want to achieve.

"There will always be questions about my gender. Those will never go away.

"But for me they don't have a negative impact."

shares
comments
Verstappen: First Honda-powered Red Bull F1 car 'feels positive'

Previous article

Verstappen: First Honda-powered Red Bull F1 car 'feels positive'

Next article

How Verstappen finessed his 'rage to win'

How Verstappen finessed his 'rage to win'
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Susie Wolff
Teams Williams
Author Federico Faturos
How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare Plus

How Ferrari plans to recover from its 2020 F1 nightmare

The 2020 Formula 1 season was Ferrari's worst for 40 years as it slumped to sixth in the standings. A repeat performance will not be acceptable for the proud Italian team, which has adopted a notably pragmatic approach to forging its path back to the top

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery Plus

Why Aston Martin’s arrival is more than just new green livery

In the most eagerly anticipated Formula 1 team launch of the season, the rebranded Aston Martin squad’s changes go much further than the striking paint job. But rather than a restart, the team hopes to build on top of solid foundations.

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Plus

The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with

The team formerly known as Racing Point gambled successfully on a Mercedes look-alike in 2020 as it mounted a strong challenge for third in the constructors' race and won the Sakhir GP. Now clothed in British racing green, Aston Martin's first Formula 1 challenger since 1960 provides the clearest indicator yet of what to expect from the new-for-2021 regulations

Formula 1
Mar 3, 2021
The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021 Plus

The driver problems facing Mercedes in 2021

Ahead of the new Formula 1 season, reigning world champions Mercedes will take on challenges both old and new. This also can be said for its driver conundrum which could become key to sustaining its ongoing success

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front Plus

How Alpine's cure to 2021 F1 rules starts at the front

A new name, new faces and new colours pulls the rebranded Alpine Formula 1 team into a new era while carrying over core elements of its 2020 car. But under the surface there's more than meets the eye with the A521 which hints at how the team will tackle 2021

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Plus

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

Formula 1
Mar 2, 2021
The big F1 questions of 2021 Plus

The big F1 questions of 2021

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Plus

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz Jr in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new team-mate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021