Danica Patrick adamant she’s not leaving NASCAR for F1: ‘I wouldn’t go anyway’
Ever since team owner Gene Haas announced last year that he would field a team in Formula One starting in 2016, speculation has revolved around Danica Patrick possibly switching from NASCAR to an F1 ride.
It’s not necessarily that much of a stretch, as Patrick has a prior open-wheel background in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The Danica-to-F1 conversation has ratcheted up the last several weeks after Haas confirmed during last month’s NASCAR media tour that Patrick is in the last year of a three-year Sprint Cup contract with Stewart-Haas Racing.
Patrick has already previously said she wasn’t interested in moving to F1, but a new interview with Autoweek.com seems to give the final word that she’s not going anywhere, period.
At least not to F1.
“Many, many people have always said that I will move to F1 one day,” she said. “But no one ever talked to me about it. That’s okay, because I wouldn’t go anyway.”
Even though a potential move to F1 would be global news and take Patrick’s popularity to unprecedented heights, her reason to say no to the international series is rather simple: She doesn’t want to leave home in the U.S.
“It’s not so much that I am not interested in driving a Formula One car,” Patrick said. “But in order to do it properly, I would have to leave the U.S., and for me that is out of the question.”
Patrick, who turns 33 on March 25, lived overseas for three years earlier in her career when she competed in Formula Ford, primarily in the United Kingdom.
The native of Roscoe, Ill., returned to the U.S. and became one of IndyCar’s most popular drivers from 2005-2011 before shifting full-time to NASCAR in 2012 (she had raced part-time in 2010 and 2011). She spent one full-time season in the then-Nationwide Series before going full-time in the marquee Sprint Cup Series in 2013.
Patrick told Autoweek that neither Haas nor anyone else has talked with her about moving to F1. Plus, her hesitance about even considering a move is compounded by the reality of her chances of F1 success.
“I only want to do things if I have a chance to win,” Patrick said. “And as an outsider, that would be so difficult in Formula One.”