Britain's Jamie Chadwick does not want a token pass into Formula One after dominating the W Series opener in Germany.
Chadwick took charge of the maiden female-only championship, of which the winner will pocket more than £350,000, following her historic victory in Hockenheim on Saturday.
The 20-year-old from Bath lived up to her billing as the pre-title favourite by topping both practice sessions, qualifying on pole in the wet, and then holding off compatriot Alice Powell in dry conditions to take the chequered flag.
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Should Chadwick's impressive form continue over the remaining five rounds, her C.V – which already includes that of the first female Formula 3 winner – could see her move up the motor racing ladder.
Formula One hasn't had a female driver in more than four decades.
"If I am in not in the top three of any series I take part in, I wouldn't expect to progress to the next level," said Chadwick.
"I don't want a token pass. I want to be there on merit.
"If I don't win the W Series, and it is one of the other girls, I would want them to get the opportunity to progress, and that is the way the motorsport ladder should work.
"One thing this sport is awful at, is that it doesn't allow time for development – you get written off very quickly. The W Series is offering the chance for us to grow."
Chadwick put her car on pole, finishing nearly two seconds quicker than any other driver in Saturday morning's rain-hit qualifying.
In a dry race, she flew off the start-line, but made her only mistake of the weekend – running wide at the hairpin on the opening lap – to drop back to second.
At the same corner, Megan Gilkes' banzai first-lap move on Emma Kimilainen resulted in the day's only crash.
Out came the safety car, and following a near 10-minute delay, Chadwick swiftly regained the lead with a fine move on Briton Sarah Moore.
She then battled a gearbox issue, but crossed the line 1.3 seconds clear of Powell.
"I felt the pressure going into today, but to get pole and then the win was more relief than anything else," added Chadwick.
"I see it as a huge, huge moment.
"As a driver, it makes no difference – a win is a win – but for a female to see what has been put together for women in motorsport, it is incredible."
Powell, 26, who was unblocking urinals for her tradesman father after her junior career stalled following a lack of funds, paid tribute to the sport's founders, which includes 13-time grand prix winner, David Coulthard.
"If it wasn't for the W Series, I wouldn't be back in a race car," she said.
"The series has come under criticism for people who didn't understand its concept, and that is about an opportunity for women drivers to get out there and race."
The next round takes place in Zolder, Belgium in a fortnight, with Brands Hatch staging the season finale on August 10.