Motorsports are usually a field dominated by men. Whether it is stock-car, open wheel, motorcycle or any other category, the racers are mostly men and this trend is even more accentuated when it comes to more important categories. Tatiana Calderon is undoubtedly an exception to this. Here you can learn about her story.

Tatiana was born in Bogota, Colombia on March 10, 1993 (she is currently 29 years old). As a child, she was introduced to the world of motorsports by her father and her sister Paula, who also had the dream of becoming a pilot, but who made the decision to postpone that desire so that the family could support Tatiana.

At just 10 years old, the Colombian would demonstrate her talent for driving by winning a karting race in her country, and at 16 she would again obtain victory in karting in the United States. This achievement made her decide to dedicate completely to racing, something that she communicated to her father when he asked her after graduating what she wanted to study.

First steps and arrival at F2

An admirer of her compatriot Juan Pablo Montoya, Tatiana dreamed of being a Formula 1 driver. She competed in Formula 3, first in Spain and then in England. There she climbed the steps until in 2019 she was hired as the main driver for BWT Arden Formula 2, an achievement that sadly would later become a nightmare for her.

About that season, Tatiana said that it was: “the worst season of my career. In every sense: emotionally, in the results, in the disappointments, in the death of Anthoine Hubert. The blow was terrible, even more so when she found out that the Ecuadorian Juan Manuel Correa (involved in the accident) was in a coma and could lose his legs. It wasn't long before she thought about retiring from racing.

As if that were not enough, the dream of participating in Formula 1 began to fade away. Despite what many might think, Tatiana does not believe it is a gender issue: “Having the opportunity is complicated for any driver. There are 20 seats and sometimes you have to be at the right time in the right team. In 2014, Susie Wolff participated in two tests and Simona de Silvestro also had her tests. I think they were ready and the opportunity did not come to them”.

His arrival at IndyCar

Despite all these hard blows, Tatiana Calderon did not give up and tried once more in the world of racing. In 2020 he raced the 24 Hours of Daytona alongside Rahel Frey, Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen in the No. 19 GEAR Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, and in 2021 he competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in the Oreca car. 07-Gibson LMP2 No. 1 from Richard Mille Racing.

In July of that same year, she tested Sebastien Bourdais's No. 14 AJ Foyt Enterprises Dallara-Chevrolet car for 87 laps in a single day at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course thanks to a sponsorship deal. Her driving style impressed the team, who ultimately decided to hire her for the upcoming 2022 IndyCar season.

Why will she race at only 12 of the 17 circuits?

Tatiana Calderon will be the first woman to compete in IndyCar since Simona de Silvestro did it in 2013, although the Swiss only ran the Indianapolis 500. The last woman to race regularly in IndyCar was Danica Patrick in 2011.

However, Tatiana will not race in 5 of the Grands Prix. This is due to something that happened 11 years ago when she was going to Europe to race in F3. So, Dan Wheldon died on an oval circuit, during an IndyCar race. Her father then told her: “I never want to see you in an oval again”. For this reason, Tatiana only races in those Grands Prix whose tracks are not oval.