Danica Patrick is making F1 headlines. Rumours about her Formula 1 test with Honda spread much faster than the following Nick Fry’s denial about any contact between Honda F1 and Patrick. Nick Fry however does not seem to be entirely opposed to the idea:
“But if Danica did want to test one of our cars, we would be more than happy to speak to her about it.”
The Honda link is understandable as she races Honda powered car in the IRL series. Coincidentally also her only IRL race win to date came at Honda owned Motegi track in Japan earlier this year.
The quick but not-so-firm denial from Nick Fry may mean one thing. Although there are no immediate plans for any F1 test Honda is well aware of Patrick’s marketing potential. She is one of the top IRL drivers, she is an American, she can get angry and she has looks that sell well … Sort of a package the whole Formula 1 may need to finally break into the US market … We can see what upheaval the arrival of Lewis Hamilton and his title challenge has caused in the UK. It is not that difficult to imagine the impact Danica Patrick might have on Formula 1 viewing figures in the United States if she raced at the top. If she raced at the top … But what if she ends up like Michael Andretti ?
So would she be an asset or liability to Formula 1 ?