2013 F1 season
Speaking to the official F1 website, Ecclestone said there was “no reason” why Patrick herself couldn’t race in F1, “providing that we find a team to take her”.
“Danica would be good to have with one of the teams now,” said Ecclestone. “All the things that people worry about – whether a woman can cope with the G-forces and all that – she has proven that she can. She’s been there and done it.”
“What I think – and I cannot blame her for it – is that she will hardly want to give up the exposure she has in the US to come here and maybe not make it.”
Patrick raced in IndyCar from 2005 to 2011, causing a sensation by leading 19 laps of her first appearance in the Indianapolis 500 on her way to fourth place.
She won at Motegi three years later, but left the increasingly road course-based series to join NASCAR in 2012. She started the first race of this year’s NASCAR series at Daytona on pole position.
Despite having previously made unfavourable comments about women racing in F1, Ecclestone said he always thought it “could be a good idea”. He added he has spoken to Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz about the possibility:
“I spoke with Didi Mateschitz some time ago about the issue of an American team and at that time I said that we would want an American woman driver. He seems ready.”
Last month Williams test driver Susie Wolff said Ecclestone was “massively pushing” for a woman to have a chance in F1.
2013 F1 season
- Lotus to maintain momentum despite loss of Allison
- Hulkenberg expects Sauber to do better in Monaco
- Honda in F1, 1965-2008 in pictures
- Ferrari join Lotus in criticising tyre revisions
- Boullier criticises Pirelli tyre tweaks
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Image © NASCAR/Getty