Danica Patrick Formula 1 Rumors: Decision On F1 Made, NASCAR Future Also In Doubt
Danica Patrick has long been one of racing's most polarizing figures, but now her racing future is in doubt. Weeks of speculation about Patrick heading to Formula 1 to join the new Gene Haas team next year have yielded an answer: Patrick won't be on the team.
"This would be a gamble and I don't know if she is ready," team principal Gunther Steiner said. A BBC report also noted that Patrick would not meet the qualifications for the necessary "super license."
Per Formula1.com drivers hoping to obtain a super license must "be at least 18-years old, have spent at least two years in junior single-seater categories, hold a valid road driver's licence and pass a test on the Formula One sporting regulations. The existing requirement of completing 300 kilometres in a recent F1 car also remains."
Patrick would presumably just return to NASCAR in 2016, but her spot with Stewart-Haas Racing is not guaranteed either. Patrick's contract expires at season's end, and Go Daddy is not returning as a sponsor next year. There has been little word of Patrick's future at Stewart-Haas Racing, and the free agency of Martin Truex Jr. may take precedence over re-signing Patrick.
This year Truex owns four Top 5 finishes, one victory, and has an average finish of 7.9. Should SHR decide they want to make a push for one of racing's top names, Patrick may be deemed expendable. Truex Jr. has three career wins and 108 Top 10 finishes in 347 races (12 years) compared to Patrick's zero victories and six Top 10 finishes in 95 races over three seasons.