Ecclestone: Danica in F1 would be perfect

15 August, 2010

Danica Patrick is arguably the most famous woman race driver of all time

Danica Patrick is arguably the most famous woman race driver of all time

Aug.15 (Grand Prix 247) The United States Grand Prix hype has been gathering steam since it was confirmed that the Austin venue is now penned into the 2012 Formula 1 World Championship calendar.

Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) CEO of the Formula One Group talks with Tavo Hellmund (USA) Austin Grand Prix Promoter and Susan Combs (USA) Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, Saturday 10 July 2010.

Bernie Ecclestone talks with Tavo Hellmund and Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Latest spin being that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has indicated that Danica Patrick would be a welcome addition to the grid.

In a discussion, reported on formula1.com, between Ecclestone and Tavo Hellmund, managing partner of Full Throttle Productions (US GP organisers) the Formula One Group CEO said, “Regarding an American driver, we have tried that lately but obviously what’s missing is the right attitude. You can race successfully in the US without the huge effort you need to succeed in Formula One. But to have someone like Danica Patrick in F1 would be a perfect advert.”

Danica Patrick during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola at the Chicagoland Speedway on July 9, 2010 in Joliet, Illinois.

Danica Patrick signs autographs at Chicagoland during her Nascar commitments

Hellmund is in agreement but added that a Mexican driver would also be an attractive option, “Of course it would be fantastic to have an American driver. A team would great, sure, but it’s no real necessity. But I see different options. There is that young Mexican driver Perez who is doing a great job in GP2 right now. For him the 2012 US Grand Prix could be a sort of home race: the distance from Austin to Mexico is a mere 250 kilometres!”

Ecclestone indicated that the Austin race would take place around mid-season, “It would be logical to place it close to the race in Montreal and that would mean somewhere in June.”

He added, “That does not mean that we cannot have another race in the US with another label. I would be insane if there were the option to race in New York and I said ‘no thanks’. But for now that’s nothing more than a pipe dream. The reality is we have a contract with Austin and it is there where the US Grand Prix will be staged.”


  • http://www.last.fm/group/Formula+1 Bec

    Well Bernie actually said:

    “But to have someone like Danica Patrick in F1 would be a perfect advert.”

    Notice the ‘someone like’ part, not actually Patrick of course, because she’s slow, very slow, in fact I’ve seen continental drift travel faster then her.

    Her entire career is based on posing in a bikini.

  • http://www.stmheatingandelectrical.co.uk/ F1 Novice

    A little a harsh there Bec :)

    She’s not the quickest admittedly but I can’t think of many other females that could do a better job given the chance in F1.

  • Speedo

    Actually Bec, you are all over it! She’s a novelty at best. A ‘fuel win’ is her only accomplishment. Either she crashes or languishes in the top 28. And just a touch moody, wouldn’t you say? No thanks! “Waa!, Schuii cut me off!” I can hear it now. Oh wait. That was Rubins! Lol!

  • Mudar

    Hey Bec, thanks for the tip … I haven’t heard about Danica Patrick before but I took your comment and googled for her images … and wooo that’s a real good addition to F1 :-))

  • Spencer

    I disagree with this article. Danica Patrick is great for marketing but so were drivers like Bruno Senna, Piquet Jr., even Takuma Sato! However, F1 is very unforgiving for drivers who can’t keep up. Just look at these big names who couldn’t deliver. And even though I’m a fan of Danica Patrick, she herself said Europe wouldn’t suit her, so she ought to stay where she’s respected (the USA) or at leat get her priorities and committments straight. Hopefully a female driver will come along soon for their proven track skills, not their hotness. We got plenty of grid girls for that.

  • fourpoint9

    “It would be logical to place it close to the race in Montreal and that would mean somewhere in June.” – June in Texas will be too hot. They should pair it up with Brazil at the end of the season in the fall when it will be better weather. Also if it’s paired with Montreal not many would go to both North American races.

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