James Calado

James Calado

England

James John Calado is a British professional racing driver from England, currently competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship for AF Corse. His career has been funded by the Racing Steps Foundation.Born in Cropthorne, Worcestershire, Calado had an extensive karting career, starting out at Cadets level in 1999. After being a member of the 2000 championship-winning England Inter-Nations Cadet Team, Calado won the British Cadet Championship in 2001, and also finished runner-up to Daniel Rowbottom in the Super 1 Cadet series. He moved to Tony Kart for the 2004 season, and once again finished in the top three of the European Championship; this time finishing third behind Stefano Coletti and Jules Bianchi. He returned to the UK to contest the Renault Elite League in the Super Libre class, finishing seventh in the championship.

Calado moved into the British Formula Renault Championship for the 2008 season, driving for Fortec Motorsport. With no prior single-seater experience, 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 took two pole positions at Snetterton and Oulton Park, with one victory coming at Snetterton from that pole. He also earned three other podium placings throughout the season. He earned two top-five finishes en route to finishing 25th in the overall championship standings, amassing 38 points. At the conclusion of the season, Calado enter the Winter Series of both the British and Portuguese Formula Renault championships. Over the two championships’ eight total races, Calado took five pole positions, six fastest laps and five victories en route to both championships; holding Henry Surtees off by just three points in the British Winter Series.

Partway through the 2013 season, Formula One team Force India selected him for the Young Driver’s test in July, held at Silverstone. He had a successful test, setting the fourth fastest time on the first day. As a result of this, and his good GP2 form, Force India announced that they had selected Calado as their third driver for the Italian Grand Prix on 2 September 2013, and that he would run in the first practice session.

For 2014, Calado joined Italian Davide Rigon at AF Corse, making his debut at the 6 Hours of Silverstone where the pair finished in 5th position behind their teammates, Finn Toni Vilander and Italian Gianmaria Bruni. Calado and Rigon celebrated a podium in the second race of the season at the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. For Calado it was his first podium in sportcars. For 2016 he joins Italian Gianmaria Bruni.