Tatiana Calderon

More opportunity for women racers in IndyCar – Calderon


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Newly announced IndyCar driver Tatiana Calderon says there are more opportunities available to female racing drivers in American racing series than elsewhere in the motorsport world.

The former Formula 2 and World Endurance Championship racer was confirmed yesterday in a third Foyt-run car for the upcoming IndyCar season.

“IndyCar has always been on my radar,” said Calderon. “I’ve always been very competitive and I want to be where the best drivers are at and I think IndyCar is pretty high up there on the single seater ladder. I’ve always enjoyed single seaters quite a lot as well, so it’s a honour to be racing in IndyCar.”

Having spent much of the past 10 years racing in European-focused series, Calderon believes there are more opportunities available to drivers who are women in the US than in Europe.

“Here in America, in IndyCar, there have been many female drivers coming through. So I think there is more opportunity at the moment for us here.

“I will obviously make the most out of this opportunity and I’m really hoping that I can do well and inspire even more girls to join in in karting, in single-seaters and they know that this is also a great opportunity to showcase that.

Tatiana Calderon, Alfa Romeo, Paul Ricard, 2019
Alfa Romeo gave Calderon an F1 test in 2019
“I can’t wait to get started and see where we end up in the first race, but obviously build up to it step by step. And I think as long as we improve every time we’re on track, then I’ll be happy.”

Calderon will drive for the team in the 12 races which take place on road and street courses. Foyt said yesterday no driver has been signed yet for the five oval events.

However Calderon indicated she would be interested in tackling the series’ most famous oval race once she has accumulated more IndyCar experience.

“Obviously I’ve only tested the car one day back in July, so we thought to take things easy, to start off with the road courses, build up to hopefully a test in an oval, see how I feel, see how my confidence with the car comes.

“But of course who wouldn’t love to do the Indy 500 one day? So we’re just taking it step by step.”

The only woman to compete in IndyCar last year, Simona de Silvestro, contested the Indianapolis 500 for Paretta Autosport.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “More opportunity for women racers in IndyCar – Calderon”

  1. Will be good to see how she does in Indycar.

    1. She will do badly, but that is just my prediction! I wouldn’t be surprised if she will be lapped by team mate Kirkwood. And even an average driver like Kellett will probably be faster than Calderon.

      Female or not, Calderon has no business in the higher categories of motorsport, she is simply not good enough.

    2. I’ve lost count of the different racing series’ she has stunk out year after year. I’ll guess at about 20. Positive discrimination in full flow. That, or best manager ever. For her to get the same seat as Kyle Kirkwood is infuriating.

  2. Well, it is just a fact that Indy car has more driving spots than F1, especially if you count extra spots at some races, while Nascar has another 40 driving spots. So there seem to simply be more top spots in the US, which is especially beneficial to the chances of mediocre drivers like Calderon.

    Ultimately, I’ve not seen a female driver with a record that justifies an F1 spot. Even Jamie Chadwick, who won the W series twice, has a fairly mediocre record. One of her best results was at F3 Asia, where she was beaten by Mazespin, who is not exactly setting the world on fire in F1 and surely wouldn’t be here without his oligarch father.

    The agenda behind this story is obvious, but the facts don’t really support it.

  3. Calderon believes there are more opportunities available to drivers who are women in the US than in Europe.

    May I suggest that that is a ridiculous take for someone who based on her results wouldn’t have graduated out of today’s Formula 4 but managed to get rides in F3 Euro Series (2 seasons), GP3 (2 seasons), GP2 (1 season), and an F1 “test driver” role (4 seasons)?

    She didn’t run out of opportunity in Europe, she ran out of talent.

    1. Sorry, that should have read Formula 2, not GP2.

    2. I do sort of agree @proesterchen, but even so her point remains: whether you are a talent like Verstappen or not so much, getting into Indycar certainly is more achievable for drivers than F1 is; and since the supertalents are rare, it’s reasonable that maybe we don’t yet have a supertalent who is also female when there are so few females at a high level of motorsport. Getting more (even if solid or good but maybe not super) racers of all genders, nationalities etc. more opportunities in higher levels of motorsport makes it easier for the next ones. Who might be an Ocon, or a Norris and who knows someone like Hamilton or Verstappen.

      1. Well she got into a similar level of racing class in Europe, namely F2.

        I understand that people like to draw parallels between F1 and Indycar because they are the top commercial racing series. But from a racing skill level, the level required for Indy is on the same level as F2 not F1.

        If a woman with the talent of Verstappen would appear in the field, and that means being worldchampion karting, there would be barely any obstacle to get into F1. The sponsors are literally forcing non-talented drivers into the sport.

  4. IndyCar has always had a solid history of having capable women racers, and I don’t just mean Danica / Simona / Tatiana, etc.

    It goes back even further to Sarah Fisher, Lyn St James and Janet Guthrie.

  5. Maybe Liberty, who being American have links or knowledge about Indy, should bring Indy to Miami or CoTA as extra events during the same weekend, in the same circuit. That way fans and talent hunters could see if there is someone worth a chance from this series.

  6. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    18th January 2022, 17:27

    And there it is: always making it about women versus men.
    The matter of the fact is that if there is a female driver anywhere good enough for a place on the F1-grid (meaning actually able to collect enough superlicence points by performing good in lower classes, which clearly Calderon hasn’t), every single team would jump at the chance to give her a spot: the PR and marketing value of such a driver would be enormous. Doesn’t even need to be a paydriver or someone with a lot of sponsors.

    As oposed to every male driver needing to be an 11/10 to be even given a slight chance of reaching F1, even with backing and sponsors. You tell me which is more fair…

    1. @barryfromdownunder I’d usually side with you on some of this, but unfortunately the evidence is in on ‘…every male driver needing to be 11/10…’ as F1 has seriously untalented drivers within their ranks, all male. I’d rate Bottas as 4/10 as a race driver, and he’s been top 3 in WDC for a few years.

      So it’s clearly not all super great racers stacking F1 with talent. It’s debatable that most of these F1 drivers would be ‘also rans’ in other forms of motor racing.

      There just isn’t enough parents of young girls / women willing to push their kids into motor racing to have any sort of numbers for girls compared to boys.

      1. Bottas is a 4/10?
        I mean he’s Hamilton’s teammate
        Is this rating assuming that Hamilton and Verstappen is a 10/10?
        Then what is Tatiana?
        A 3/10?
        I mean you don’t have to take someone down in order to raise another one up

        Yes there are untalented drivers on the F1 grid

        But Tatiana and other female drivers have had worse race results than these untalented ones
        She’s not good enough to even be a pay driver
        If F1 had an Ana Carrasco in F3 or so it would’ve been a different story

  7. Motorsports need to increase female drivers/riders participation in the junior categories, then it’d take less than a decade to find talents who’d properly deserve spots in the major series like F1, WEC or Indycar.

    1. @praxis 100% agree. More kids that will stick it out because of super pushy parents that want their girls to be in F1, it’s how it’s been working out for the boys so far.

  8. We have to admire his bravery for putting herself in this VERY tough and competitive championship! Also very hard and phisical car to drive! Hope she does well and will surprise me a lot if she stands her ground in IndyCar

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