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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Calderon finishes P14 after hectic Monaco feature race

Tatiana Calderon finished 14th after a red flag affected first race on the famous streets of Monaco.

Calderon started her first ever race in Monaco on the last row, after signing the 10th time in the first qualifying group on Thursday.

As the 20 drivers were standing on the grid ready for the green light, second-placed Callum Ilott's car switched itself off, forcing the field to perform one extra formation lap. The unlucky British driver was pushed into the pits but could not rejoin the action.

At the start, Artem Markelov, Ralph Boschung and Tatiana Calderon cutted the first corner; a common sight for the Monaco races, that resulted nonetheless in a prompt race direction investigation. Soon after, the notification of a 10 seconds time penalty arrived. 

Despite an already compromised race, Calderon lapped solidly in 18th until the pit stops started as early as lap 6, with Aitken and Schumacher among the first to dive into the pitlane.

Calderon, helped by a low-degradation circuit like Monaco, opted once again for a prime/option strategy and went longer in her stint, climbing up to P13 and later to P9.

The Colombian's race pace was once again more consistent than her qualifying performance, lapping in 1min26secs and not far off the leading group.

Mick Schumacher, on fresh tyres, had a tight fight with Nicholas Latifi which resulted in a broken front wing for the Canadian. Schumacher, now in clear air, quickly catched Calderon and attempted a very impatient move at the inside of Rascasse on the Colombian that unavoidably resulted in contact. With the spun BWT Arden car #18 blocking the track, the race was forced to be red flagged.

All the cars were then pushed into the pitlane by the marshalls, and both Schumacher and Calderon were allowed to restart the race. Even if her car was undamaged, the red flag was obviously bad news for Calderon, as she still had to pit to switch tyre compound and serve her penalty.

When the race was resumed behind the Safety Car, Calderon immediately entered the pits and Mick Schumacher was given a drive through for causing the collision that had stopped the race.

In the closing laps, Correa crashed at the Swimming Pool chicane and Aitken was pushed against the barriers by Raghunathan at Fairmont hairpin. 

Nyck De Vries won dominantly on the historic streets of the Principality, with Luca Ghiotto and Nobuharu Matsushita completing the podium positions.

Tatiana crossed the finish line in 15th, with most of the field classified one lap down due to a bizarre restart anomaly that considered the first eight drivers (not blocked by the Schumacher-Calderon incident) on lap ahead.

The result was protested by the teams but the Stewards found no equitable method to resolve the error.

Also, podium finished Ghiotto was later disqualified for a technical infringiment and thus Calderon promoted to 14th.

The second race will go green at 17:15 on Saturday.

In Tatiana's words:

“That was a bumpy ride.... still enjoyed every lap and looking for some revenge tomorrow.”

Ph credits: F2 media



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