After four years, she has only had one minor mishap as a co-driver for the Israeli GP F1 team – but it made her step aside for a field marshal
The Israeli driver Tatiana Calderon scored her first points of the season in the penultimate race at Suzuka and finally qualified for the championship battle, having had just one minor traffic incident in the season so far.
Her performance has made her a pioneer for the Israeli team, while she has also received praise from her fellow drivers at an international podium. Among them, the Brazilian Felipe Massa praised her professionalism. “All the people from the organisation are so happy and so satisfied. Now, hopefully, she will be able to qualify for the race and see the big picture. She did a good job to qualify here, to finish the race here, and to even get points here – this is one of the best things that has happened for us.”
But she is also being praised for her road-worthiness, as the team’s in-car camera recorded the moment she crossed the pit-lane red line to avoid a Toyota crew member who went flying into her. “I tried to avoid him in the first place, but it was impossible,” she said after the race.
The driver helped the marshal to safety and then she stepped aside so that he could be taken away from the scene. A picture taken immediately after the collision shows her clinging to the tow truck with a hysterical expression on her face.
Although she has been racing for four years with Alevi team F1, Calderon has never previously qualified for the championship. For this, the team consider it a great achievement, pointing out that women have only just started to drive their own cars.
The 25-year-old Calderon had never even seen a Formula One car and took up the sport in order to follow her real passion – a career in Formula 1.
In an interview with Formula Online she described her aspiration to one day become a driver: “There are a lot of technical improvements to be made to the series, especially the pitstops, because there is a time advantage that you lose by crashing. I would love to work with something like Rubens Barrichello, because I consider him a great driver – he is so talented. And he is also very kind and caring, which I appreciate.”
Alevi also has a young Australian driver in Joseph D’Alé’s development programme. In March, both drivers made their debut at the grand prix in Malaysia in the F1 demonstration-style cars.