Sauber test driver Tatiana Calderon says she has had to “crash” to earn the respect of male drivers who do not want to be “beaten by a girl”.

The Colombian races in the GP3 category and has been promoted from development driver for the 2018 F1 season.

“There’s still this belief that you can’t be as competitive as the guys, so you have to prove yourself again,” Calderon, 24, told Newsmen.

“Once they start to see you as another racing driver there is no issue.”

Calderon said she has been involved in collisions in races because she refused to give up track position.

“There were some occasions where I thought I’m not going to lift because this is my position and it’s their time to brake,” she said.

“The other guy has not braked, so we crashed, but it was the only way to make him understand that, just because I’m a woman, I’m not going to give him the place.

“Sometimes that’s also how you have to earn that respect. He never did it again.”

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