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.