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Wolff: female F1 driver 'will definitely happen'

"It has to be said that the technical level in the US does not compare to the level in F1, said Niki Lauda when asked about Patrick at the weekend. "This is also reflected in the drivers."

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko was also of a similarly dismissive frame of mind when asked what Patrick's success on the predominantly oval-racing US racing circuit meant for F1.

"You have to look at Danica's results in the road races," he said. "It's not enough." He did add that he'd still happily give Danica Patrick a test opportunity in F1 if she was interested, however, but that she would have to prove herself from there. "We are looking for drivers based on performance, not by quota."

Wolff herself agreed with that sentiment.

"Of course I had to come in, I had to earn respect from the team members but any drivers has this responsibility. But I must say I had no issues at at all," she said.

In any case, Patrick has already politely declined Marko's back-handed offer, calling it "nice" but insisting that she had "never been really interested" in following that path.

"It is speculation in the media, but it has never been seriously discussed," insisted Patrick. "I do not need to be in F1 to have a full life."

F1's current world champion Sebastian Vettel is probably happy to hear that. "First of all, hats off to Danica for her achievements," said Sebastian Vettel last week while attending the pre-season test session at the Circuit de Catalunya. "But motor sport in the US just has a completely different culture."

And indeed it does seem that in Danica's case, it's perhaps more a matter of her nationality than her gender that would get in the way of any already-improbable move into F1 in the future.

"The last American who had success in Europe was Mario Andretti," pointed out Niki Lauda. "And that was in my day!"

As for Wolff, she's optimistic about her own chances of crashing through the glass barrier and earning a place on the F1 starting grid in her own right in the future.

“I've done more time in the car now. I feel even more comfortable in the car, it doesn't seem like it's an unrealistic dream," she said. "The tests went very well, there was no issues physically, there was no issues with not being able to handle the car.

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Mike - Unregistered

February 26, 2013 11:47 AM

Will everyone catch up??!! It's already happened! Giovanna Amati ( 1991 / 1992 season ), drove at the back very slowly, but still, IT'S ALREADY HAPPENED!!! I was only 8 years old and I can remember her so why are all the older F1 'experts' talking like its never happened before?!

piercarlogassolini - Unregistered

February 26, 2013 11:37 AM

Won't happen in my lifetime. Danica's done well, but in series that in a nutshell 'aren't F1' (one populated mainly by has beens and never will be's, the other by racers using a totally different technique), and she is clearly much less competitive on 'road' courses. Then who have we got, historically? No-one really. I have great respect for female athletes, but the reason elite sports are for the most part single-sex is that women just can't compete on a like for like basis with men. Look at the 'power' sports like NFL, even white males are struggling to make a mark. The one hope for women in F1 is that there is 'something else' involved (ie the car), and one sport where females do feature prominently is equestrian (which of course also involves a dobbin) - ALTHOUGH with 60% of elite showjumpers being men, from only 5% at grass roots level, even this sport demonstrates that men are just fundamentally superior - again, no slight on women, my daughter rides and she is braver than I

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