Last October I posted about the history of the fairer sex in Formula One. It wasn’t a long post though, there have only been five ladies to have competed alongside their male counterparts, and only one who has scored a world championship point. And even then it was just a half-point as the race was stopped early. So I think it’s fair to say that the ladies have been vastly under-represented in Formula One for a very long time. Approximately 58 years, actually (and that’s just the organised championship). But over in America, female racers are getting more of a look-in, and recently a race was won by a woman; Danica Patrick. Of course, the media have reinvigorated their interest in the Wisconsin-born driver, and now there is even talk of Patrick hopping over the pond to have a go in F1. And it’s about bloomin’ time, I say…
Currently, Danica drives for Andretti Green Racing in the IRL IndyCar Series and started competing at this level in 2005. That year Patrick won the Rookie of the Year prize as well as the Most Popular Driver award (which we really should have in F1 just for comedy value). Danica scored 325 points and finished twelfth overall. Since then, Patrick has continued to improve both in results and the continued winning of the Popular Driver award. Currently, Danica sits in fifth in the 2008 championship. The Motegi round of the championship in Japan saw Patrick win for the first time, and now there is talk of the young star testing for HondaF1, the link being that Honda currently supply engines to Andretti Green.
Every driver would love to drive a Formula One car at some point in their life, so yeah, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a real, proper test. Danica Patrick.
Patrick went on to say that she had been recently asked to demonstrate a Formula One car in America, but refused because the organisers would be making her in to a show that would be embarrassing for her. But Patrick clearly wishes for a serious test, and given her ascent in IRL, perhaps the young racer deserves one.
Honda have denied any discussions with Patrick have taken place, but also said that they would be more than happy to offer Patrick a chance to test one of their Formula One machines. Katherine Legge was, I believe, the last lady to test a Formula One car, that being a Minardi back in 2005. However, the last female driver to attempt qualification for a race in F1 was Giovanna Amati, who competed in 1992. Unfortunately, it was with Brabham and the Italian driver didn’t really get anywhere with it. Skip forward 15 years though, and Formula One could be about to see its sixth woman to compete in the sport. I’m not going to hold my breath, but I might keep my fingers crossed.[poll id=”9″]