Alice Powell says she is struggling to find the budget to stay in GP3
Britain became first female to score a point in the series in 2012
By William Esler. Last Updated: 17/09/13 1:17pm
Britain's Alice Powell says she is struggling to find the budget to remain on the GP3 grid for a second season in 2013.
The 20-year-old secured a late drive with Status GP for the 2012 season and despite a lack of testing, became the first female to score a point in GP3.
The 2010 Formula Renault BARC Champion is hoping to continue her push towards Formula 1 in the support series in 2013, but admits she could be forced to race elsewhere.
"We are struggling at the moment, we have got some money together but it is not enough," she told Sky Sports F1 Online.
"I wanted to do all the pre-season testing this year, but sadly it seems I will not be there as I haven't got the money. So it will be tough as with the new GP3 car, it is going to be hard for all the drivers and the teams.
"GP3 is what I want to do, but there are other options in the F3 Euroseries and F3 Open."
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Despite being put on the back foot by the time it took to secure her drive in 2012 - Powell was only confirmed during the final pre-season test at Silverstone - the Oxford-born racer says she enjoyed the campaign.
"It was a tough season - mainly because I missed all the pre-season testing bar the last two and there were about twelve days," Powell added.
"So I was literally straight in at Barcelona with no testing and it was difficult to get used to the car as in GP3 you don't get much track time with practice being only 45 minutes then you are straight into qualifying. So I was learning the car as well as learning the tracks.
"So it was a tough year in GP3, but it was what I expected as the series is so competitive and to finish 11th in my first race was unexpected."
With a new car and more powerful engine in GP3 this season, Powell is sure that the series is the right place to develop as a young driver with F1 aspirations.
"GP3 this year will have a much better, more powerful car - the only downside is the lack of track time you get compared to the likes of the F3 Euroseries," she said.
"But it is a great training ground for young drivers looking to move onto GP2 or World Series by Renault."
Despite the positives, though, Powell admits the budgets required are too high.
"GP2 and GP3 are crazy money - but that is the cost of motorsport these days," she said.
"These cars are high technology and keeping that up to scratch and all of the team's transport - it does all add up. And drivers need to get on track and do all the testing they can - it would be like going out to play for the best football team in the world and being told you weren't allowed to do any training."