SHR boss not interested in hiring Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart for F1 team

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Neither Danica Patrick nor Tony Stewart will drive for the new Formula One team owned by Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas.

Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart each have backgrounds rooted in IndyCar. Teammate Kurt Busch will attempt to qualify for this year's Indianapolis 500.

"I think just the thought of jumping into a Formula 1 car from a Cup car would be very, very difficult.-Gene Haas

So does that mean any of them are potential candidates for the Formula One team started by Stewart-Haas co-owner Gene Haas? No, says Haas, who on Monday announced the formation of Haas Formula to begin competition in either 2015 or 2016.

"We'd like to have an experienced Formula 1 driver," Haas said. "Then going forward we'd certainly like to have a young American driver. That would be the ideal situation."

Because of the vast differences between F1 and NASCAR, Haas feels no driver can successfully transfer between the two disciplines without extensive preparation. That F1 experience is something Patrick, Stewart and Busch are lacking.

"I think just the thought of jumping into a Formula 1 car from a Cup car would be very, very difficult," Haas said. "I certainly would never expect any of our current lineup of drivers to want to be able to do that. I think almost ‑‑ it would be impossible to really accomplish that and survive."

This is not the first time Patrick has been linked to a potential F1 ride. A year ago F1 president Bernie Ecclestone said he was interested in courting Patrick, who ran in the Verizon IndyCar Series from 2005-2011 and is the only American woman to win a major open-wheel race.

"There should be no reason why not, providing that we find a team to take her," Ecclestone told FormulaOne.com. "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."

Patrick responded that she was focused solely on her burgeoning NASCAR career, and had no interest in pursuing a ride 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. "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."

The last American to run in F1 was Scott Speed in 2007, and before him, Michael Andretti in 1993. Andretti's father, Mario Andretti, was the last American to win the F1 World Championship (1978).

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