Sauber F1 team signs Calderon as development driver

The Sauber Formula 1 team has signed GP3 racer Tatiana Calderon as a development driver for the 2017 season

Sauber F1 team signs Calderon as development driver

The Colombian's new role will focus largely on simulator work at Sauber's Hinwil factory, and attending grands prix with the Swiss team alongside F1 race drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.

It is unclear whether Calderon will get a chance to test the Sauber C36 this year, although she would be eligible to take part in the mandatory in-season young driver testing.

Calderon says that prospect is "on the table", and if it happens she would be the first female to drive an F1 car since Susie Wolff took part in first practice for Williams in the 2015 British Grand Prix.

"We are very pleased to welcome Tatiana onboard to the Sauber family," team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said.

"We have the opportunities and facilities to provide Tatiana a professional platform on which she can further develop her knowledge and skills in racing.

"I am convinced that we can provide her lots of in-depth motorsport know-how for her future career in racing."

Calderon will continue in the GP3 Series for a second season, but is yet to announce which team she will race with, having spent 2016 with Arden.

Prior to that, she raced in European F3 for three seasons, and placed second in the 2015-16 MRF Challenge series.

"Sauber has seen the potential in me, and they know I'm a hard worker and a dedicated person," Calderon told Autosport.

"I'm extremely grateful for this opportunity, and I want to thank Monisha and the whole team for opening this door.

"I'm ready to work hard and learn as much as I can from them.

"Of course driving an F1 car would be a dream, and I want to make sure I'm ready if the chance arrives.

"This opportunity is a really good start to make it happen."

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