Danica Patrick ‘not interested’ in F1 switch

Danica Patrick has played down suggestions she might switch to Formula One.

Speculation the 30-year-old American could have a future on the grand prix grid was kindled by her high-profile pole position for Nascar’s premier Sprint Cup opener at Daytona. Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko was quoted by Bild newspaper as saying while Patrick is not “on the top ten” of his list of promising F1-worthy candidates for the future, he would offer her a test.

According to Austria’s Kleine Zeitung newspaper, Patrick described Marko’s offer as “nice” but insisted: “I do not need to be in formula one to have a full life.”

She said she has “never been really interested” in exploring any F1 options.

“It is speculation in the media,” she added, “but it has never been seriously discussed.”

That is despite Williams test driver Susie Wolff admitting recently that Bernie Ecclestone is “massively pushing” for a female driver to be on the F1 grid.

“At some point I think in the future we will definitely see it happen,” she said last week.

Source:GMM

Marko: Danica Patrick not good enough for F1

Danica Patrick has leapt back into the motor racing headlines by becoming the first woman to secure pole for the 2013 Nascar opener at Daytona.

Previously, the highly popular 30-year-old American, who is stealing the show at the pinnacle of US motor sport, has insisted she has little interest in exploring her options in Formula One. But could more doors open now?

“For ten years,” said triple world champion and Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda, “I’ve told Bernie Ecclestone he’s dopey for not getting a woman into Formula One. If we could get a woman into the top six, you would immediately have twice as many fans in front of the TV,” he is quoted by Bild newspaper.

Lauda, however, questioned whether Patrick is the right woman for the job.

“It has to be said that the technical level in the US does not compare to the level in formula one. This is also reflected in the drivers,” he said. “The last American who had success in Europe was Mario Andretti — and that was in my day!” exclaimed the 63-year-old.

Dr Helmut Marko, the outspoken driver manager at world champions Red Bull, also questioned Patrick’s credentials.

“You have to look at Danica’s results in the road races,” he said. “It’s not enough.”

Indeed, there are no female drivers among Red Bull’s current flock of young development drivers, whose ultimate aim is to earn a place at the junior team Toro Rosso.

“We are looking for drivers based on performance, not by quota,” Marko insisted.”

World champion Sebastian Vettel added: “First of all, hats off to Danica for her achievements. But motor sport in the US just has a completely different culture.”

Source:GMM