Danica Patrick admits that she is aware of Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s comments about her, but says that she has no plans to attempt to test a car in the series.
In an interview on the Formula One website earlier this week, Eccelstone was asked if the series would have a female driver "within the next couple of years, given the success — and stardom — that Danica Patrick has registered in the United States?"
He answered that he didn’t see any reason that would not happen if there was a team available.
"Danica would be good to have with one of the teams now," he added. "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."
Asked on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway about the comment, Patrick admitted that she had seen it and that “they sounded complimentary and it looked like he was kind of acknowledging my ability to drive a car, so that was kind.”
Still, the NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie has no plans to try her hand at yet another series. A previous race winner in the IndyCar ranks, Patrick has driven at least a limited schedule in the Nationwide Series since 2010 and is in her first full Cup season after running 10 races last year. She finished 10th in the Nationwide standings in 2012.
She’s keeping her focus on NASCAR. But would she consider a test in a Formula One car?
“Honestly, I have always said that unless it would be something that I would want to do for real, as in race a Formula One car, I don’t see any point in testing it,” she said. “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 and then people judge me for that. Unless it was something I was really serious, I wouldn’t do.”
She added, though, that Ecclestone has often offered her support throughout her career.
“I will say that Bernie over the years has actually sent a lot of messages,” she said. “Any kind of big high point that happens in my career, whether it be at Indy or Daytona now, winning at Japan and things like that, he’s sent messages. He even sent me a big picture one time that was signed by him. He’s actually been really nice. I don’t necessarily think that his comments a long while back are necessarily representative of his opinion of me.”
Patrick was referencing Ecclestone’s 2005 comment when he was widely reported to have stated: “You know I’ve got one of those wonderful ideas . . . women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances."
On Friday, after her casual reference to the less-than-complimentary previous comments, she offered a fun take on it.
"I tell you what, I do love domestic appliances," she added with a laugh. "I love to cook and I love to be in the kitchen, so that’s flattering."