Calado: I'm ready for F1 challenge
4 September 2013 – Newly-signed Force India reserve driver James Calado is approaching his position with relish, the Briton explaining that racking up mileage in Formula 1 machinery is vital for the progression of those competing in motorsport's lower formulae.
Currently fifth in the GP2 standings and within reach of the title, Calado impressed Force India chiefs during his outing at the Silverstone Young Driver Test, and was announced as the team's third driver earlier this week. Tasked with FP1 duties at Monza this weekend, he insists he will have no problem balancing the two roles.
"I'm going to be extremely busy, especially this weekend. But at the end of the day, I only see it as a positive," he told Sky Sports. "These days, you need as much time in any car as possible. I think if you're good enough, you're able to adapt quick enough.
"You've just got to realise that the Formula 1 is a good ten seconds faster and reset your mind going back to the GP2 – and then almost visualise what a lap in GP2 is like. I'm sure that within two or three laps it'll be no problem and I'll be straight back on the pace again. It's going to be hard but I'm ready for the challenge - mentally and physically. It's my only chance, probably, to show what I can do and hopefully be in line for a race seat in 2014."
Calado also made reference to current GP2 Champion Davide Valsecchi, who has been a relatively inactive reserve for the Lotus team this season, arguing that drivers are far more likely to be noticed for their work in a Formula 1 car than other machinery.
When asked whether teams are more aware of a driver's potential once experience has been gained in the top echelon, the 24-year-old replied: "I think so, yes. To be honest, it was Valsecchi's third or fourth year so he was kind of expected to win. If it's taking you that long, are you really good enough? That's the question.
"Ultimately, someone like Valsecchi is a very good driver and he probably deserves a place in F1. But as you know, it's very political and money-oriented. You've got to be almost exceptional to do it on talent alone."