Williams test driver Susie Wolff has admitted she still feels "very far away" from a permanent race seat with the team.
The 32-year-old started 2015 as Williams' most senior test driver, with Friday practice sessions lined up at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix and at her home race at Silverstone, as well a day of running in each of the post-race tests in Spain and Austria.
But the Grove-based team signed veteran Adrian Sutil as its official reserve following Valtteri Bottas' back problems in Melbourne in case the Finn was unable to race in Malaysia, indicating to Wolff that she was not as close to a breakthrough race seat as she may have previously thought.
"I have performed in the car, I have shown I am capable, I'm in a very competitive team, I drive a car which is capable of podium positions," she told Reuters.
"I do feel very, very close [to a race seat] but in the same respect very far away.
"Because when [Williams] announced Sutil as the reserve, that was a clear sign that 'Yes, you're close but you are also still very far away'."
Wolff's situation is made all the harder by the pending introduction of superlicence points from next season onwards, as she has no recent experience of any of the traditional feeder categories.
"To find the budget to go through all those formulas, to get into the right team so that you actually win the championship in those formulas, that is a huge task for any driver regardless of gender," she added.
"I hope it will get tweaked and adjusted... love it or hate it, but motorsport is not purely talent. It never has been and never will be."
Deputy team principal Claire Williams also admits it has been a struggle to gather support from sponsors targeting females.
"I said [to the Williams sponsorship people], 'Let's go out there, let's really go hard at female brands'," she told Reuters.
"And not one of them was interested."