Ecclestone: 'F1 is ready for a female driver'

13 March 2013 by TF1T Staff

The idea of a female Formula 1 driver has been bandied about for many years now, but F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone believes the time is now right.

The 82-year-old has backed the idea, mainly from a marketing perspective, for almost a decade, yet the sport isn't any closer to seeing a women infiltrate the ranks.

That could change if a team were willing to take the risk, according to Ecclestone who highlighted NASCAR driver Danica Patrick as a potential candidate.

"There should be no reason why not, providing that we find a team to take her [a female driver]," he told the official F1 website.

"Danica would be good to have with one of the teams now. All the things that people worry about - whether a woman can cope with the G-forces and all that - she has proven that she can. She’s been there and done it."

Things could be about to change however, with Ecclestone admitting he has discussed the idea with Red Bull billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz alongside an American F1 team.

"I have been looking for a woman for years! I always thought that this could be a good idea," he added.

"I spoke with Didi Mateschitz some time ago about the issue of an American team and at that time I said that we would want an American woman driver. He seems ready."