Patrick not pushing for F1 chance

Danica Patrick says she is happy to be racing in the Indy Racing League, although wouldn't rule out a switch to Formula One if the opportunity arose

Patrick not pushing for F1 chance

Patrick, in her second-season in the IRL with Rahal Letterman Racing, says she has heard speculation linking her with an F1-switch although presently she is happy in America.

"I think it's very flattering. I feel very lucky to have people talking about Formula One and to potentially have that as an opportunity," Patrick told Reuters in an interview.

"But at this point in time I'm very happy where I'm at. I enjoy living in the States and being near my friends and family. I don't know what's going to happen in the future."

Patrick became the first woman to lead the Indianapolis 500 last year, finishing the race in fourth.

Once "dead set" on racing in Formula One, Patrick admits she is not yet ready for the punishing grind of the F1 circuit.

"I think being away from all of your family and friends...it's something that isn't ideal for me right now," she said before this week's Indy Japan 300.

"Maybe one day I'll want to have a big, beautiful place in Monaco. If I'm happy off-track, I do well on-track. Maybe it will work out with Formula One in the future."

Patrick's desire for a stable base was brought into sharp focus when teammate Paul Dana was killed in an horrific crash at this season's opening IRL race at Homestead-Miami.

"It's obviously a very sad situation," said Patrick. "It's unfortunate but it's a reality and something we as drivers...know can happen. It's our job to get on with it and keep racing.

"We will focus on that while at the same time keeping in mind that life is precious."

Further speculation about a future switch to Formula One is likely to gather momentum, however, if Patrick scores her maiden IRL win this season.

"Maybe - absolutely," she smiled. "Who knows what's going to happen? That might be the option and then I'll be happy and lucky that they want me. But right now I'm good where I'm at."

Were she to eventually switch, Patrick would join a small but elite set of females who have plied their trade in the tough world of F1.

Only Italian Lella Lombardi met with any tangible success. Lombardi, who participated in 17 Grands Prix between 1974 and 1976, became the only woman point-scorer with a sixth-place finish at the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix.

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