Home F1 Could Danica Patrick make it in F1?

Could Danica Patrick make it in F1?

Danica Patrick at Long Beach
Danica Patrick at Long Beach

Danica Patrick isn’t a name that is particularly famous in the world of European auto racing. In the US, however, she’s a big deal as far as racing drivers go. A talented female driver with the off track ability to attract big sponsors and big money.

Starting out her racing career in the world of Karting, she moved over to Milton Keynes aged 16 to pursue a career in open wheel racing. Over three years between 1998 and 2000 she raced in Formula Ford, Formula Vauxhall and eventually finished higher than any other American or any other female racer in the Formula Ford Festival with a 2nd place finish.

She moved back to the US in 2002 to compete for Rahal-Letterman racing in the Baber Dodge Pro Series, ALMS and Toyota Atlantic Championship eventually driving in the IRL IndyCar series in 2005 where she became the first female driver to lead the Indy500 going on to claim 4th position, besting the previous record by a female driver of 9th (set by Janet Guthrie).

Since her debut in 2005 Patrick has gone on to race in Indy, Sports Cars, Endurance class racing and NASCAR and has enjoyed fair success throughout. She became the first female driver to win an IndyCar race in 2008, holds the IRL record for most consecutive finishes and currently holds the record of highest finish for a female driver at the Indy500 (3rd).

Off the track she is a media and marketing machine. She has the proven track record of attracting huge sponsors and a vast amount of attention for her, the team she’s with and the series she’s racing in.

The question of Patrick competing in F1 has always been floated and it’s not far-fetched, her ability behind the wheel combined with her image is something that any motor racing team would find highly attractive when selecting a new driver.

Could Danica Patrick make the transition to F1?
Could Danica Patrick make the transition to F1?

Until now, though,  it’s been a fairly muted point. Sure, she’s successful, but there are many other budding younger stars in lesser formulas that could step up and take the place she could fill at any team on the grid.

Aside that she doesn’t have a super license, nor any presence in the European Formulas, no test miles or any viable in-roads to the current teams which presently seem tied up with young driver affiliation programs or a long line of carefully curated candidates ready to jump into the cockpit.

Not until Gene Haas outlined his desire to race in Formula One in 2015 was Danica Patrick a viable name to place on the F1 grid.

Rumours about his delay on entry were put to bed in Canada last week when the team formally announced that despite gaining the green light from the FIA in April, they would defer their entry until 2016 in order to work on forming the team.

At the Canadian Grand Prix ex Red Bull technical director and new team principle for Haas’ entry Guenther Steiner stated:

“We’d take too many risks by going too fast, that’s why we’re going to delay our start until 2016, we’ve officially confirmed it,”

When pressed about Patrick potentially filling one of the seats on the team, Haas didn’t rule out that the 32-year-old could be a candidate to race for him in F1:

“I think she would [be a candidate]. She would bring an awful lot of viewership. I think it would be great for America. I think she would be a great candidate. Whether that’s going to happen or not, that’s kind of a long-shot there too.”

It’s common in the F1 circus for rumours to float for months, no matter how seemingly ridiculous they are, but this is one that could be highly likely.

All of her positives aside it’s a fact that Patrick would be considered old for a rookie in F1, matching the age of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso who already has two world championships and an almost legendary status as one of the best drivers on the current grid under his belt.

A lot can happen in a year, though. Haas is far from ready to announce technical partnerships, drivers or sponsors just yet so any number of things could happen in the coming months to change his plans.

Even then, it doesn’t mean that Patrick would accept an offer of a drive if it were presented to her.

It’s rumored that she has been offered numerous testing opportunities with F1 teams in the past. Honda and USF1 both supposedly offered her a chance to test (the second was denied by Patrick), which she declined, and it’s obvious that any team on the grid would be crazy to turn down a talented female driver just for the marketing potential alone.

When asked in the past about possibly testing for an F1 team, Patrick has said:

“Honestly, I’ve always said that unless it would be something that I’d want to do for real, as in race a Formula One car, I don’t see any point in testing it. It’s a lot of work to get fitted in the car comfortable enough to be able to go drive it. Then as a driver, for me at least, I run the risk of ‘What if it doesn’t go well?’ Then people judge me for that. Unless it was something I was really serious, I wouldn’t do.”

A failure in F1 could mean a huge impact on her image and career in the States. Patrick knows that the world would be watching her and if she were to do badly it could harm her image in the eyes of her fans and sponsors.

It’s plausible that she could know that she would be unable to bring good results to a team and immediately kill her chances of progression before her F1 career even started.

Ultimately, one only has to look to the interest and press attention garnered by the likes of Claire Williams, Monisha Kaltenborn and Susie Wolff, all prominent figures in various capacities in F1.

It’s obvious that having Danica Patrick involved in his team in some capacity (be that number one, two or even three in the stable) is a sure way to generate interest in Gene Haas’ entry, gain big money sponsors and bring F1 further into the US market.

Nick Thompson
Loves any sport propelled by an engine and the smell of petrol
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sports News

Can Barcelona Achieve Success This Season?

Will it be the fourth year that Barcelona faces a humiliating season or will they get their hands on the Champions League trophy for the sixth time? It has been a long time since 2015, that Barcelona last won the Champions League. What’s more disheartening are the heavy losses, the team has been suffering for the past few years. Obviously, last year's famous 8-2 thrashing from Bayern Munich highlighted the hollowness created in the team. And...

Fabinho Acrobatics Seals Liverpool Win

Reds opean European campaign with a win and solid defensive display

The Rejuvenation of Isaiah Thomas During the Pandemic

Isaiah Thomas has seen highs and lows like no other all-star in the NBA. From being an MVP candidate who finished 3rd in regular-season - MVP voting averaging of 29 points per game, to being traded the next year. And then being traded two more times from Washington to Denver and then on to the LA Clippers and then cut by the Clippers, it has been a real roller-coaster ride (not a good one)...

Lazio FC – The Rich History of Società Sportiva Lazio

Lazio Football Club is an Italian football club based in Rome, known mainly for their love for the beautiful game of soccer. They are annual participants in the Italian top league, Serie A, and usually pull their weight in challenging for titles and trophies. They have been Italian Scudetto winners twice in 1974 and 2000, and have lifted the prestigious Coppa Italia a whopping seven times, the Supercoppa Italiana three times and the European collections...

2020 World Series Preview/ Exciting Championship Reviews

A preview of the Dodger facing off against the Rays in the World Series. The Braves-Dodgers and Rays-Astros series wrap-up.

Estrada Headlines World Title Triple Header on October 23

Matchroom USA will return to North America for the first time in over 8 weeks with an exciting World championship Triple Header topped by pound-for-pound star Juan Francisco Estrada. Estrada defends his WBC and Ring magazine belts against Carlos Cuadras in a rematch of their 'Mexican War' which took place in 2017. Roman Gonzalez faces off against Israel Gonzalez for Chocolatito's WBA (Super) Super-Flyweight title in the co-main event. The Nicaraguan won the title by...

Van Dijk injury gives Klopp the opportunity to reinvent Reds

Van Dijk faces lengthy time on the sidelines As the news finally broke on Van Dijk’s injury, one could almost sense a collective sigh of despair from the Liverpool fans. Their worst fears were confirmed as official word from the player arrived on social media. After undergoing further scans, the Dutch defender stated the following, “I’m now fully focused on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back as quickly as possible. Despite...

Maro Itoje: The Future Captain of England Rugby

The name Oghenemaro Itoje does not sound too familiar to many rugby enthusiasts, yet, when it's shortened to Maro Itoje, every England Rugby fan has words of praise for the latest English rugby superstar. The lock forward weighs in at a solid 115 KG, with his height being a whopping 1.95m. The presence of Itoje in The English forward’s has allowed it to find its backbone, where Itoje leads the pack. After a disappointing 2019...

Spurs Quick Start Ambushed by Lanzini’s Hammer

A fast start by Spurs Peep!....peep!, it was not even a minute before the referee blew the whistle for the second time. 45 seconds was all it took for Spurs to go ahead in this game, a start that even the Roadrunner would appreciate. The Lily Whites continued their rapid and mind-numbing start to the season as they rushed into a generous lead, with Kane at the heart of it. The English national...

Crawford Brook Agreed for November 14 on ESPN

On the Lomachenko-Lopez broadcast last night on ESPN, Top Rank announced another big fight just 4 weeks away. Terence Crawford will defend his WBO Welterweight title against Britain's Kell Brook on regular ESPN. This is another Top Rank mega-clash that could have landed on Pay-per-view but now lands on free-to-air television. Although this is a good fight on paper, the question here is how competitive will this fight really be? Brook has not boxed at...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x