• May 2, 2008

Everybody's favorite racing driver has been getting a lot of attention since claiming her "maiden" victory in the IRL race at Motegi in Japan two weeks ago. Now officials are considering giving Danica Patrick a shot at test driving a Formula One car.

Patrick has had a checkered past with F1 prospects. She was initially offered a chance to demonstrate an F1 car at Indy in 2005, but declined saying it was just for show. Around the same time, she was shocked by Bernie Ecclestone, who compared her to a kitchen appliance. Since her Motegi win, however, the international motorsport community has been abuzz about the prospect. Honda, which supplies the engine in Danica's IndyCar (and everyone else's, for that matter) says it will seriously consider giving Patrick a shot at testing for its F1 team. While some debate whether a woman has the physical strength to drive an F1 car, Patrick says she wants to focus on contending for the IRL championship before she considers a possible step up to Formula One.

[Source: Autosport, Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty]



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  • 41 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think an F1 test would be great for her and help her get a feel for what she might want to get into someday. Would she be ready to jump from indycars to F1 right now, probably not but in the future I wouldn't count it out. I've always wanted to see what Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, Dixon, Franchitti and the like could do in F1, I know if given a good team many of them could do well. So the prospect of Danica one day reaching F1 is awesome.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Jt-

      A good question. The main area strength is needed is in the neck. There are some serious g-forces applied to a driver's neck during braking and turning. Most testers who don't have a neck regimen in their training end up at least sore. I don't know that a woman couldn't build enough strength to handle it but it would be a definite requirement before earning a ride.
      David Ederer
      • 6 Years Ago
      F1 isn't big in the US and having Danica probably won't spur much interest in the US since taking the pole position or with in the top 4 usually wins the race. She probably be lost in the pact and off the US radar. She should stay in the US maybe move to Nascar.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't see her having a problem with the strength needed. I'd say let her test. Her skill (or lack of) as a driver is what matters. Most other F1 drivers aren't capable of winning a race either so having even a somewhat competitive woman in the field would be kinda cool. Her low weight is definitely a good start.

      Mr Oak, about those pics?,... :p
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mr. Oak, why do I always find myself disagreeing with you? I find her perfectly spankable!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Most drivers on the F1 grid *are* capable of winning a race, if they had the right car. Not all, sure, and some would need a bit of luck, but other than some guys like, say, Super Aguri, they're all pretty damned qualified.

        That said, I think letting Danica test would be for publicity's sake. One win does not make an F1 driver. I'd still love to see it happen :)

        And who cares if she's showing up in men's magazines? She's not saying it makes her a better driver. No one complains about Anna Kournikova...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just kidding on the pics. Was responding to Tomas' need to see her naked. She is not my kind of girl. I like mine to be a little bit more "spankable" than she is.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seconded, j.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Still want to see her naked.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And she is really not playing the sex card by posing half naked in magazines...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wining in F1 isn't exactly lake wining on an oval lottery...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd lap her something fierce.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Around the same time, she was shocked by Bernie Ecclestone, who compared her to a kitchen appliance."

      I thought that was Jenson Button?
      • 6 Years Ago
      A woman driver in F1 would be cool, but I don't think Danica is ready. I like her and all, but she'd probably get her ass handed to her. Then again, there's really no harm in letting her test. Plus, think of the publicity... I'm sure lots of people would tune in just to see how she does.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So they want to pair up pretty-boy JB with 1 win under his belt with pretty-girl DP with 1 win under her belt?

      What is this test for? Testing to get her a ride when RB finally decides to retire or just for test driver input? Or just for publicity (like when they let Zanardi test last season)?

      I thought Honda was focused on winning again...getting Brawn and all. This just seems like it would be for publicity.

      Tip to Danica - stay away from Mosley.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm not a huge open-wheel fan, so forgive an ignorant question: I'm interested in this comment that "some debate whether a woman has the physical strength to drive an F1 car." Why would an F1 car require any more strength than an Indy car?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Button is not going anywhere I think, Rubons has maybe one more year left before he pushed out and Alexander Wurz retired last year and only came back to be a test driver, so i can see a spot left open for her if she tested well. She certainly would fair better considering the obstacle she faces next year with the new car/driver weight regs in IRL. I thought she was fantastic in CART.
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