Patrick: I Now Feel Accepted

Indy 500 rookie Danica Patrick believes she has got the hardest part of being accepted as a female racing driver over in winning the support of her team

Patrick: I Now Feel Accepted

Patrick, who qualified fourth for next weekend's race, believes that the lack of team backing is the reason why her female predecessors, such as Janet Guthrie and Lyn St James, found it hard to be successful in the sport.

However Patrick believes she has been able to impress in Indy 500 practice so far because her Rahal-Letterman Racing team have accepted her for who she is.

"The toughest part for a female is just the actual fact that you're a female," Patrick said. "Not whether you have better or worse reflexes. Just to get a team that backs you because it just really hasn't happened until me. There has not been one really that consistently been fast and raced at the front.

"I don't think there's any differences that would be prevalent in the car that would make a difference to make a female driver better than a male driver or vice versa. The toughest part is getting the team behind you. Then, as Lyn St James said, after that the car does not know the difference.

"If there's one great thing I think that's happened over the years is that women are being accepted into a man's world in all different areas, whether it's nursing or flying a plane or driving a race car. People are actually excited for it and they like to see something new and something they've never seen before.

"That's the difference when people like Janet and Lyn were around. For Janet, being the very first female she would have experienced things like, 'Why aren't you cooking,' stuff like that."

Patrick currently lies 12th in the IRL IndyCar Series standings with two top ten finishes in the first four races.

She added: "With consistency the novelty will wear off and I just hope the stories are still being written. I think there are many records and many historical things to be written down. I'm one of those people that feeds off of negativity a little bit.

"If they don't think I should be fast I'm going to go out there and prove to you time and time again that I belong here."

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Danica Patrick
Author Tim Redmayne
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