Interview: Alice Powell

Alice becomes the first women racing driver to be interviewed here at JLF1. Alice is a rising star, looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow F1 ladies Susie Wolff and Maria de Villota. The Oxford born racer learnt to drive at just 6 years old, before joining the karting ranks. She saw success in the Ginetta Junior championship before moving to Formula Renault.

She made history by becoming the first female Formula Renault Championship winner after taking the FR BARC Championship in 2010. Now, in 2012, she is moving to GP3 with Status Grand Prix, setting her sights on a new challenge.

Alice talks to me about her past career and the future.

1) Firstly thanks for answering these questions Alice, I will start by asking how you got into motor sport, your journey in the early years?

 I have always been interest in Motorsport, ever since I was very young. I then went karting when I was eight, and then that was it...I was hooked!!

2) Who were the people you looked up to at that time?

When I was younger I was a massive massive fan of Michael Schumacher. Always cheering him on and extremely disappointed if he didn't finish a race. I was at the Silverstone race when he broke his leg, and that really got me down.

3) You entered the Ginetta Junior championship, how competitive was that? It always produces such exciting races.

Ginetta Junior is an excellent championship! I thoroughly enjoyed driving in it, not because it is very very competitive, but because Lawrence and his Ginetta staff are very helpful.

4) You have shown steady progression in Formula Renault, what do you think were the main influences in it being cancelled this year?

 I think just the lack of money in this country and the fact the two top teams have left the championship and moved to race in Europe.

5) In the current day and age it seems to be extremely difficult getting on the grid, have you ever had those struggles?

Yes it is very hard to raise money to race! The economic climate is so tough at the moment so businesses are spending less on sponsorship. I do not have a rich family so I have to go out and try and get sponsorship.

6) Winning the Formula Renault BARC championship must of been special, what are the stand out moments from that year?

It was incredible and the best feeling ever to win a championship. The best moment has to be when I won the last race at Thruxton, which meant I won the championship. 

7) Being a racing driver, do you find time to be a normal teenager? What are your favourite things to do away from racing?

Yes you still have time to relax, and I like to see my friends and also play hockey. The hockey is part of my fitness training really.

8) Your representing women in motorsport, would you like to see more women compete in F1?

 For sure yes. I think it would make the sport more exciting and raise the TV viewings, like it does for American TV views when Danica Patrick races. It would for sure encourage more females into the sport.

9) You have just signed for Status Grand Prix in the GP3 series, how much of a step up is it from Formula Renault to GP3? Also what are your aims for the season?

 It is a big step, especially seeing that I have only had two test days in the car. Because there is a testing ban, it means that I will be going into the first race being the person who has the least experience in the car. My aims are to try and finish in the top 15 this year and get some top 10 finishes. Also to learn as much as I can. All the track, apart from Silverstone, are going to be new to me.

10) Finally looking at F1 in 2012, who is your money on to take both titles?

That is a tough one, but I think that Mclaren will take the Constructors Title and that it will be between Hamilton and Buttnn for the Drivers. But this is motorsport, so anything can happen!!!!

Interesting prediction there from Alice, keeping her F1 2012 predictions British and I would have to agree. Great to see how enthusiastic Alice is about learning and GP3 will be a big year for her, I wish her all the best.
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Interview: Alice Powell
Interview: Alice Powell
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