Patrick shows women can succeed in F1 – Ecclestone

2013 F1 season

Danica Patrick, Las Vegas, NASCAR, 2013Danica Patrick’s success in American racing shows women can race competitively in Formula One, Bernie Ecclestone says.

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.

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70 comments on Patrick shows women can succeed in F1 – Ecclestone

  1. NinjaBadger (@ninjabadger) said on 13th March 2013, 14:15

    I don’t see any reason why women could not compete in F1 (as long as they have the talent).

    I would feel sorry for the next woman to get a seat in a team; because I can only imagine there would be alot of press and media about it all, and that would apply its own pressures.
    But, saying that, I wouldn’t like the thought of a team putting a woman in a race seat, JUST to get publicity and sponsers.

    I suppose once we break through the barrier, and have a woman competing well in F1, it would make it easier for future drivers.

  2. AlonsoWDC (@alonsowdc) said on 13th March 2013, 15:17

    The problem with Patrick is that she’s a very mediocre driver.

    • jimscreechy (@) said on 13th March 2013, 15:29

      True, but she’s smoking hot. How much worse can it be seeing her on the grid than total time wasters like Yarno Trulli was.

  3. The Limit said on 13th March 2013, 15:33

    I have had a good laugh at a lot of the posts on here, some of them are priceless. No matter what Bernie Ecclestone says, Danica Patrick will never compete in F1. Not because of her gender or talent, but because she doesn’t want to. She is making an absolute fortune in NASCAR, even if she never wins the championship, she has made it. You see, one thing I give the Americans credit for is marketing. They are experts at selling you something, especially if its something you don’t need. Patrick is just a female version of Dale Earnhardt Jnr, a clothes horse and merchandise gravy chain.
    In all fairness, Danica Patrick was the one big marketing boon Indycar had, which is the reason why NASCAR wanted her. Am I saying she is a terrible driver, absolutely not! However, her ability to grab the headlines and the limelight was definitely NASCAR’s gain and Indycar’s loss from a business perspective. She is young, pretty, and American. Pure Hollywood movie material and a marketing man’s dream. Ecclestone is right about one thing, Patrick won’t jeapardise her career in America by going to F1. No way.

    • jimscreechy (@) said on 13th March 2013, 15:40

      Hmm are you perhaps assuming that you know what her motives are? I have yet to hear of a driver that is in the sport for financial reasons. Most want to win or at the very least be competitive, the finacial rewards never seem to be at the top of the list (least as far as I know). Certainly from interviews I’ve heard with her, she is no different from any other driver in this regard. However, I also remember her saying as you correctly point out, that she doesn’t want to come to F1… so can’t argue with that!


  4. Zibit said on 13th March 2013, 16:22

    If my calculations are correct, she has 1 win in 237 career races. And even that 1 win has some controversy attached, as the leader(Hélio Castroneves’) crew radio’d to him to slow down because a yellow was out. Danica cruised by him and took the victory. This happened on the same day as the last ever Champ Car(opposing series) race was about to take place. If the 4 times, in a row, Champ Car champion can’t cut it in F1 then I don’t see Danica cutting it at all. Especially considering Champ Car was the mostly road racing series where the IRL, where Danica raced, was mostly Ovals.

  5. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 13th March 2013, 16:30

    Danica Patrick actually shows that women can succeed in NASCAR.

    Or. If we forget her gender just for one second – Danica Patrick shows that a driver talented enough can race in NASCAR if they have the skills. It’s like saying Felipe Massa has shown that men can succeed in F1.

  6. Otsug said on 13th March 2013, 20:13

    I think the problem of women in F1 is that they will just as fast in todays cars an men……..but will get lower insurance….boom boom.

    Racing is all the the Head……..

  7. I don’t think anyone in modern times would object a female F1 pilot, but it would certainly be nice if she got the drive by merits, rather than becoming mostly a marketing ploy.

  8. jacob (@jack) said on 13th March 2013, 23:12

    Danica is a mediocre driver driving in top level equipment. She finished behind people who did not run a full season last year. simply put she would not have a seat on the grid if not for her being a woman.

  9. Arnoz said on 14th March 2013, 0:44

    I’d have no problem of a successful woman coming from either a feeder series or stuff like for example DTM, IndyCar or hell even NASCAR into Formula 1 – but by successful I mean top 5, and DP isn’t close to that right now.

    This is just Bernie seeing the $-signs.

  10. F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 14th March 2013, 4:48

    whenever i need to outrage women, i bust out bernie’s classic “appliances” line. thank you, mister ecclestone.

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