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SBD Global/February 21, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Lauda Says F1 Would Benefit From Female Drivers, But Patrick Doesn't Have 'What It Takes'

Niki Lauda says F1 would benefit from a woman driver, but Patrick is not the one.
Female NASCAR driver DANICA PATRICK "wrote history on Sunday when she became the first female driver to win the pole for the Daytona 500," according to Frank Schneider of BILD. So, "why has the 30-year-old never received an offer from F1?" Three-time F1 world champion and Mercedes Chair NIKI LAUDA said, "I've been telling [F1 CEO] BERNIE ECCLESTONE for more than 10 years that he is a fool for not getting a female F1 driver. If we could manage to get a woman in the top six then we would have twice as many TV viewers because then women would watch as well." However, Lauda does not believe that Patrick "has what it takes to drive in F1." Lauda said, "You have to say that they are not even close to the technical level of F1 in the U.S. This also includes the drivers. The last American who was successful in Europe was MARIO ANDRETTI. And this was back during my time." Red Bull Motorsports Dir HELMUT MARKO said, "You have to look at Danica's success on road courses. It's simply not enough." Current F1 champion SEBASTIAN VETTEL said, "First of all, hats off to Danica's performance. However, U.S. motorsports has simply a different culture" (BILD, 2/19). 
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