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 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 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.”