Tatiana Calderon wants her maiden Formula 1 test to end any doubts on women being competitive in the top class.

The 25-year-old Sauber F1 development driver will take part in a filming day at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this week following the Mexican Grand Prix running alongside the Pirelli tyre test the Swiss squad is completing.

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Teams are allowed two private test runs for promotional work each season with Sauber opting to use its second in Mexico with Calderon. Test runs are limited to a maximum distance of 100km which is effectively 23 laps of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Calderon hopes the opportunity will prove two points: allowing her to get up to speed in an F1 car while also demonstrating women can compete in a Grand Prix car.

“Obviously it is a promotional thing, it’s always nice as my home country is like a few miles away, but I think to have a first taste to get used to the steering wheel, to work with the guys and to see how I handle the pressure I think as well will be good,” Calderon said.

“I’m aware that there are a lot of people that doubt if we are physically ready or mentally prepared to drive a F1 car, and this is a way of proving that as well. It has I think many purposes.”

Calderon’s F1 test debut coincides with the recent launch of the W Series – a new motorsport series exclusively for women racing Formula 3-specification cars and will run as a support class in DTM.

While Calderon, who currently competes in Formula 2, accepts the W Series is below her experience she can see the benefits the new championship is aiming to provide but she ‘only wants to race against the best, regardless of gender’.

“I can only speak of my experience, and I’ve always been a competitive person, and I only want to race against the best, regardless of the gender,” she said. “Obviously this new series is happening, and I think it will be helpful for some of the girls who are struggling with budget or that want to start to prepare to get competitive against the boys.

“In that sense, we need to thank also the organisation, if they’re doing the effort you can’t really be against somebody who wants to promote motorsport and female participation.

“But my view is that we can compete in equal terms, and anyway, if you want to reach Formula 1, you have to go through Formula 2.”

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