Danica Patrick has explained that there are several factors behind her lukewarm reception to the news that USF1 is interested in trying her out for their newborn Formula 1 project - not least of which being the risk of opening herself up to a barrage of criticism.

The IndyCar Series' first-ever female race-winner - courtesy of her history-making, breakthrough triumph in the Indy Japan 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan last April - has been mentioned in connection with the new, North Carolina-based operation, along with Andretti Green Racing team-mate Marco Andretti, NASCAR front-runners Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger and A1GP sensation Jonathan Summerton.

However, whilst Busch has revealed that he would be open to the possibility of a move across the Pond [see separate story - click here], Patrick - who if she were to do so would become the first female to break into the top flight in almost two decades - is clearly less convinced.

"The first thing I think of is 'does it even fit?'" admitted the 26-year-old Wisconsin native on the subject of a potential test for USF1. "Is it going to get in the way of my IndyCar season? Is it going to get in the way of my prior obligations? Is it going to make me tired?

"Is it going to be something that's not going to just really work into the schedule - and then also is it something that I really want to do?"

In making clear her ongoing commitment to both AGR and the IRL, Patrick added that she had little interest in joining forces with a team that is unlikely to be up at the sharp end in F1 anytime soon - a situation that could quickly destroy a reputation that she has spent the past four years painstakingly building up.

"I don't believe that it's very productive to lead people on if it's not something that I'm interested in," she underlined, "because you're really opening yourself up then.

"What if you go and do it and it doesn't go ideally or perfect and you don't set the world on fire? Then all of a sudden all you did was just open yourself up to criticism. I would think about it and I would check the schedule, and we'll cross that bridge if it ever comes."