Patrick to F1? Haas not ruling it out

Wed May 13, 2015 9:30am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas has no desire to fuel speculation but neither will he rule out entirely the possibility of Danica Patrick racing for his new Formula One team next year.

"If the right sponsor came along, then anything is possible," the California-based businessman told Reuters when asked whether the world's best-known female racer might make a sensational switch from ovals.

Even as he spoke, on a visit to the grand prix paddock in Spain last weekend, his F1 team principal Guenther Steiner grimaced.

"Don’t put anything in that Danica is coming to F1," laughed the Austrian, mindful of all the stories written since Haas Formula One confirmed they would be making their grand prix debut in 2016.

"We’ve been down that path last year," agreed Haas, who nonetheless left no doubt that his Stewart-Haas NASCAR driver would be given serious consideration if the deal was right and she wanted to do it.

Formula One has not had a woman driver start a race in nearly 40 years and Patrick, who nearly tested for Honda in 2008, has been through the rumor mill many times already.

"We don’t want to sit there and say no to anything but the probabilities... obviously when she’s in NASCAR, it’s very difficult to participate in F1," said Haas of the 33-year-old who in 2013 became the first woman to take pole position for the season-opening Daytona 500.

Recent events may make it easier, however.   Continued...

Feb 22, 2015; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Danica Patrick (10) during driver introductions before the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.  Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports