Racing bigwig Gene Haas is getting all his ducks in a row in preparation for the 2016 launch of his new Formula One team. One of those ducks he needs in a row is two drivers. And to that end, he just said he thinks Danica Patrick is a "great candidate" for one of the two seats.
Cue the pitchforks and/or cheers.
Haas gave the remarks as he was being interviewed by NBCSN's Leigh Diffey about many of the challenges involved in getting the team started. Besides all the Patrick stuff, he dropped some interesting tidbits along the way, like Ferrari and Mercedes not having a lot of time for the upstart Americans contributing to the delay in the team launch.
But towards the end he was asked about the possibility of Patrick becoming the first American to race in an F1 car since Scott Speed in 2007:
Diffey: Okay, really quickly. You have a driver in the Stewart-Haas fold at the moment, in this weight-conscious formula of Formula One, in this era of Formula One, that would be perfect. That driver is Danica Patrick. She has open wheel experience, whether it be in the junior Formula or IndyCar. Would she be a great candidate for Haas Formula 2016?
Haas: I think she would, I think she would. She'd bring an awful lot of viewership, I think it'd be great for America, I think she would be a great candidate. Uh, whether that's going to happen or not, that's, that's, I think that's kind of a long shot there.
Before all of the Danica Patrick haters start coming out of the woodwork, let me just say that both Diffey and Haas make good points in her favor. She would have no problem competing with guys like Daniil Kvyat (who weighs just 127 pounds) in today's F1, where drivers hurt themselves just to make weight. She's also already familiar with the team behind Haas F1, and she has open-wheel experience.
Plus she'd be great for publicity, as Haas notes, and he did say she's a long shot.
But then again, she has her critics. Full video of the interview is below:
Think she'd make a good F1 driver? Let us know in the comments below.
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