Glamour girl could take F1 by storm
Bikini model Danica Patrick is all fired up to give an entirely new meaning to curves in Grand Prix racing.
The glamorous 26-year-old is not just a pretty face - she is the only woman ever to score a first in one of America's scarily fast IndyCar championship races, where winning averages top out at 250mph. Now, having excited the United States car race fans coast to coast, and given her rival male drivers something to worry about on track, she is in line for a sensational call-up to Formula One.
The ultra-fast lady has been earmarked by Brit Peter Windsor, former world champion Nigel Mansell's old team manager at Williams and now the boss of the upcoming all-American USF1 outfit.
"I'm flattered even to be considered,” she said earlier this week, "and I shall be having talks with the USF1 guys about the issue pretty soon. You never know what may result from a conversation."
And not surprisingly, the notoriously girl-chasing Grand Prix glory boys are just as thrilled that they could soon be hotly pursued by a curvaceous £5m-a-year stunner with a massive will to win and the ability to carry it through.
Former team owner Eddie Jordan, F1's most flamboyant and adventurous boss when he owned and ran his own UK-based outfit, told me: "She's bright, she's gorgeous and she's quick and a born winner. She would be a massive asset to F1. And she wouldn't be scared off by the cut-and-thrust.
"I would certainly give her a run out if I was still a team owner. I'll bet Bernie Ecclestone is just waiting for a chance to get her on the scene."
Force India veteran Giancarlo Fisichella, three times a winner, would welcome a woman racer onto the Grand Prix grid. The Italian said: "Why not? Danica is a proven competitor with some really impressive results in IndyCars. Her win in Japan a couple of years ago was sensational. And she's a regular front runner in a very tough series."
Peter Windsor, who will head the USF1 team from North Carolina, USA, mooted his idea to F1 supremo Ecclestone a couple of years ago. "And he gave me all the encouragement I needed," he said, "and we plan to have the team up and running by 2010. Most of the money is in place right now. Danica is one of the drivers we shall be talking to about our exciting entry into F1 now that it is all coming to fruition."