The 24-year-old British racecar driver earned his passage to Force India’s team Friday after completing an impressive first practice at Monza while driving Adrian Sutil's car. The rookie Formula 1 driver turned an “impressive lap-time just a half second behind more the experienced Paul DiResta.
“It was amazing and fantastic," said Calado."It is quite a strange feeling to be out with all the other Formula 1 drivers. But I got used to everything and we did a good job. We found a good balance and I was happy. Everything ran smoothly and there were no big mistakes. It was nice really - and the novelty never wears off of being at maximum speed at the end of the straights."
Born June 13, 1989 in Cropthorne, England, James John Calado has been working his way up the racing ranks ever since becoming a Go-Karter at the Cadets level in 1999. He waspart of the Britain’s 2000 Inter-Nations championship Cadet team, before winner the. British Cadet Championship in 2001, and also finished runner-up to Daniel Rowbottom in the Super 1 Cadet series ( losing out by thirteen points). The following year he graduated to TKM Juniors, finishing fifth in the Super 1 championship.
Calado graduated into the British Formula Renault Championship for the 2008 season, driving for Fortec Motorsport. And despite having no former single-seater experience he Calado was placed into the Graduate Cup for first-year drivers. Calado finished runner-up to Dean Stoneman in that championship, and he finished seventh in the overall championship. He also took two pole positions at Snetterton (where he won) as well as at Oulton Park, He also earned three other podium placings throughout the season.
Calado currently competing in the GP2 Series, and will return to his duties in that division with ART for the rest of the Monza weekend. Force India has said that Calado will get further free practice outings later this year, but no decision has been made yet about when they will be.
"I am sure I will be in the car again at some point, but it is not confirmed yet in terms of which races I will do," he explained.
"It depends on the battle between McLaren and Force India, so we will work around that."
Calado os also well aware that any hopes of getting his F1 race seat will likely depend on securing sponsorship.
Note: A number of drivers have used the open wheel GP2 as a stepping stone into Formula 1, including Nico Rosberg who was hired by the Williams team for the 2006 F1 campaign,; Lewis Hamilton weho made the transition to F1 with McLaren and the 2007 Champion Timo Glock to Toyota for the 2008 F1 season, etc who often drove in Friday Practice sessions throughout the season's second half.
In addition, The Force India third driver position has led to race seats in the past with Britain's Paul Di Resta (now number two on the team), Germany's Nico Hulkenberg and France's Jules Bianchi having preceded Calado in the spot.