NASCAR Bristol 2013: Danica Patrick not interested in racing Formula One

Alex Trautwig

Despite interest from Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, Danica Patrick plans on staying in NASCAR.

Danica Patrick will not be racing in Formula One anytime soon, much to the chagrin of Bernie Ecclestone, the headman in charge of F1 who earlier in the week suggested Patrick come and race in the world's most popular form of motor sport.

"I've always said that unless that it would be something I would want to do for real, as in race a Formula One car, I don't see any point in testing it," Patrick said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "Then as a driver, for me at least, I run the risk of what if it doesn't go well, and then people judge me for that.

"So, unless it was something that I was really serious, I wouldn't do it."

In a story that was posted on the F1 website Wednesday, Ecclestone made his interest in recruiting Patrick to F1 known.

"There should be no reason why not, providing that we find a team to take her," Ecclestone said to the website. "Danica would be good to have with one of the teams now. All the things that people worry about -- whether a woman can cope with the G-forces and all that -- she has proven that she can.

"She's been there and done it. What I think -- and I cannot blame her for it -- is that she will hardly want to give up the exposure she has in the U.S. to come here and maybe not make it."

It wasn't lost on Patrick that Ecclestone has seemingly reversed course on her talent behind the wheel.

"I did see something about Bernie's comments and they sounded complimentary," Patrick said. "It looked like he was kind of acknowledging my ability to drive a car. So that was kind."

This is a change from 2005 when following Patrick becoming the first woman to lead a lap in the Indianapolis 500, Ecclestone made some disparaging comments saying that "women should be all dressed in white like all other domestic appliances."

Since then, Patrick has become the first woman to win an IndyCar race going to Victory Lane at Twin Ring Motegi in 2008 and this year becoming the first woman to win a Sprint Cup Series pole as well as lead a lap in the Daytona 500.

"I will say that Bernie over the years has actually sent a lot of messages," Patrick said. "Any kind of big high point that happens in my career, whether it be at Indy, or Daytona now, or winning in Japan -- things like that, he has sent messages.

"He's actually been really nice. I don't necessarily think that his comments a long while back are representative of his opinion of me."

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