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Fisichella, Sutil warm up to Danica's F1 entry

Tuesday, 24 February 2009 - 8:23pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

USF1, an American outfit, plans to hit the F1 track in 2010 and its technical director Ken Anderson wants to offer Danica a test drive.

Danica Patrick's potential Formula One entry will be nothing short of storming what is essentially a male bastion but the IndyCar sensation can count on the support of both the Force India drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil.
USF1, an American outfit, plans to hit the F1 track in 2010 and its technical director Ken Anderson wants to offer the 26-year-old Danica a test drive.

Both Fisichella and Sutil believe having one more team on the grid is just what the doctor prescribed since Honda pulled and the economic meltdown hit the sport.

And both seem to have a fair amount of respect for whatever Danica, the first woman to win an IndyCar race, has achieved so far.

"Having new teams is always good as it's more competition and better for the sport in general," Fisichella said from Italy ahead of the launch of VJM02, Force India's new car for this season.

"I don't know too much about the USF1 team, but the States is a big market for the car industry so it would be good to get a team from that area," said the Roman, a three-time winner with 200-plus F1 starts under his belt.

"And for women in F1, why not? Danica has got some really good results in the past," said Fisichella, a former Renault driver. 

His German teammate Sutil believes USF1's entry would not only intensify competition on the track but also open up a new market for the sport. 

And though he does not know Danica well, Sutil is not unaware of the American's exploits behind the wheels.

"New teams coming into F1 is always good as it means more competition, greater media interest and – if this team is from the States – a new market for the sport," Sutil said.

"It's a real positive, particularly when every team is having a tough time due to the economic problems. I don't know Danica Patrick very well, but I know she has had some good results," said the German youngster.

Danica was expected to test for the Honda team late last year but it eventually didn't materialise as the outfit pulled out of F1 owing to fund crunch.

Danica is yet to be approached by the USF1 management but even if she lands a seat with the outfit, she would not be the first woman driver to do so.

Italian trio of Maria Teresa de Filippis (1958), Lella Lombardi (1974) and Giovanna Amati (1992), American Divina Galica (1976) and South African Desire Wilson (1979) have entered at least one Grand Prix.

Of them, Lella had 12 starts against her name.

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