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“Danica would be good to have in F1” says Ecclestone

Mar 13, 2013, 7:04 AM EDT

Danica Patrick

What’s the one addition F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone wants to see in the sport soon? “An American woman driver”.

In his traditional pre-season interview for the official Formula One website, Ecclestone spelled out his desire to see a driver like Danica Patrick competing in Formula One:

“There should be no reason why not, providing that we find a team to take her. Danica would be good to have with one of the teams now.

“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.”

But having admitted that she could make the move, he doubted she would:

“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.”

Intriguingly, Ecclestone added he’d had discussions about bringing a female driver into F1 with the billionaire owner of the Red Bull and Toro Rosso teams, Dietrich Mateschitz:

“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.”

The last women to attempt to start an F1 race was Italian Giovanna Amati, who failed to qualify on three attempts for the beleaguered Brabham team in 1992.

Her late compatriot Lella Lombardi is the only woman to have scored in an F1 race, picking up half a point for sixth place in the curtailed 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.

  1. wallio - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    The media really needs to learn when Bernie’s trolling them, because he does it so well and so often. He once said F1 races should have shortcuts, and you guys ran with it. He once said F1 races should have sprinklers to simulate rain, and you guys ran with it. He also claimed a few years back to be bringing a “black jewish driver” into F1, and you all speculated on who it was. None of this has happened. Now this, more awesome Bernie trolling, especially since in ’04 at Indy he said of Danica “I think she should be dressed in white with the other appliances.” But he wants her all right. Oh yea……

    • Keith Collantine - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      Ecclestone certainly is given over to coming out with anything that will generate a headline.

      But he changed his tune on women racing in F1 a while ago – this is not the first time he’s made such comments and others have said he’s working to make it happen.

      • wallio - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        Maybe, but I take anything Bernie says with two massive shakers of salt. Everything I posted above is just a small fraction of his soundbites (remember the whole battle over the British GP, or his fighting for the 3 new teams, while bashing them publicly?) Bernie is not dumb, he says these thing becaue guys like you Keith run wit them. Which keeps F1 in the news, which keeps F1 big, which Keeps Bernie rich. The man is brillant.

      • Keith Collantine - Mar 18, 2013 at 7:43 AM

        Regardless of how sceptical we are of what Ecclestone has to say (I have a salt shaker of my own!), he’s the most powerful person in F1 and what he has to say is usually newsworthy.

        Regarding the two examples you bring up, the British Grand Prix was being moved to Donington at one point. This wasn’t an Ecclestone PR stunt – Donington was nearly destroyed by it.

        Likewise his disregard for the smaller teams is genuine and motivated by the fact that he wants to pay as few teams as possible, and evidenced by the fact that Marussia haven’t got a deal on the new Concorde Agreement.

      • wallio - Mar 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        I actually was refferring to last year when he treathened to take away the British GP (again!) after the rains in practice, then renewed their lease like a week later. But thanks for reminding me about Donington. One of the greatest tracks in Europe destroyed for a pipedream (many people now think Bernie never intended to move the race at all, we’ll probably never know). I agree Keith, Bernie’s words carry weight, but he knows it too, and often times uses it to his advantage. He talks about it in his biography “No Angel” which if you haven’t read it, I recommend it.

    • f1fannewyork - Mar 14, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      I’m not a Ferrari fan, but I like their about 3 cars for the top teams. But limit the numbers of races the third driver can do to 5. Much less risk for a Danica to come over to ‘experience’.

  2. malkinrulez - Mar 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Couldn’t win in Indy car so put her in F1? I’m keeping this article anytime I need a good laugh!

    • apexassassin - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:59 PM


      still i agree with your comment.

  3. burm61 - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    She id keeping Kyle Larson’s seat warm at SHR as it is. She couldn’t compete in Indy and Hinchcliffe came in and made her look incompetent… answer? Throw her into the F1 fire? She needs to go away worse than Brian France.

  4. f1fan1 - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Shamica in F1…freakin hilarious. She couldn’t even do anything in the pitiful IRL series

  5. tntriathlete - Mar 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    If this ever happened it would be totally nerve wracking for the pit crews. In IndyCar Danica used to come into pit lane and take out pit crews like bowling pins. They’d have to find someone suicidal to be her jack man.

    • greenarcher2013 - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      I’d be her jack man. Booo yeah I know that was a poor joke. Although her in Danica in F1 is also a poor joke.

      • greenarcher2013 - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:33 PM

        that last sentence made no sense. I need a cup of coffee

  6. wallio - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    And besides, didn’t we have a female driver last year? Maria had a Superlicense and drove the Marussia (albeit in a test) so techinically she was an F1 driver…….

  7. hdvegas1 - Mar 13, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    I wouldn’t wish this so called “driver” off on any race series but if F1 is willing to take her I’m sure we could get more than enough donations to pay for her relocation to anywhere but where she is now.

  8. apexassassin - Mar 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    Lol, Bernie, playing the media as usual. Gotta hand it to him, even at his age he still dominates those around him.

    Danica is a joke on street tracks and hasn’t the ability or the qualifications to operate a F1 car. Though that hasn’t stopped many others from buying their way in only to be fired.

  9. florida727 - Mar 13, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Have to agree with several posts regarding the overhype of Danica. Call me when she actually wins something. Otherwise, she’s really nothing more than a slightly (and I mean SLIGHTLY) above average looking female. Take her results, insert a guy’s name in front of them, and ‘he’ never even gets discussed in the media. Frankly, if she wasn’t a skirt, she’d be out of a job.

  10. purplesectornet - Mar 13, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    Only NASCAR driver I want to see in F1 is Kyle Busch…I bet he’d be wicked fast…Danica? Probably one of the most over rated drivers of all time…

  11. 1lap2go - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Is Bernie trying to be a standup comedian on F1Comedy Central TV. Danica in an F1 car ??. Michael got dusted off in short order with his splash in the pan appearances. If this country is serious about getting an American in a F1 car, then start grooming Kyle Larson now. He has the greatest skills, staying out of trouble, moving thru traffic and winning.
    Yes, Danica qualified on the pole at the Day 500 but anyone in a properly setup car can now have a good run at the big tracks. Look at how she did for the Bristol race where drivers have to actually “drive” a race car around the track.
    Kyle Larson will make more $$ in one yr in F1 then he will playing in the dirt. Yes his NASCAR ride is an OK step but get some time in an Indy car and road courses and then into F series.

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