United States GP: Danica Patrick’s big preview of Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen and more
Sky Sports F1 new recruit Danica Patrick said she was captivated by the title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen and by the “desperation and passion” shown by both drivers ahead of the crucial States GP. -United this weekend.
Patrick, arguably the greatest female driver in motorsport as an IndyCar race winner and NASCAR pole sitter, joins the Sky F1 team for the Circuit of the America event, the first of six rounds to end the season .
In Texas, she will witness a championship battle that has ebbed, sunk and often engulfed in controversy, and says she loved what she saw from drivers at different stages of their careers.
“I love that Max is this young rider and Lewis is the guy who’s aiming for the official GOAT medal of most wins, most poles and most championships this year, so I’m sure he really wants winning his eighth, ”said Patrick. Air sports as part of its big preview for this weekend.
“So you have someone who’s dying for this not to happen to them.”
Addressing their various accidents this year, Patrick insisted that “every time there is more at stake, there are more risks taken”.
“So probably at the start of the season Lewis was pretty used to winning and as it continued he was like ‘wow you went on that stretch of track'” she said. added. “Maybe he knew that if he was going to win this eighth championship, it wouldn’t be that easy.
“You see more desperation and more passion. These are pilots who want the same and only one can have it.”
Patrick joined Sky Sports for an exclusive interview before joining the team in Austin, discussing key topics such as the growing popularity of Formula 1 in the United States, women in motorsport, and more …
F1 certainly seems to be gaining popularity in the United States. Why is that?
“The popularity in the United States has definitely increased because of the Netflix series. Drive to survive has been really, really popular and I’ve heard so many people over the years, people saying, “Hey, did you see that? It’s so crazy and interesting, I had no idea! ‘
“There are just a lot of people who have realized the intensity of Formula 1, the intrigue, the controversy … been the most influential thing to increase the popularity of F1 in the United States lately. . “
It also helps show the personality of the drivers, doesn’t it?
“Yes. And I think that’s always what has helped me be a popular rider in my career, I’ve always done interviews, people were interested in talking to me and so when I did, i showed more of my personality, people got to know me better and they were curious how i did.
“When they don’t know who to cheer for, when they have no idea who you are, you just watch the cars turn.”
There will be a Miami GP and a United States GP next year, making the United States the only country with two races. Thoughts?
“I think that’s fair when you consider the popularity of F1 in the US. The more the better, if there are more F1 races here it will create more and more. more fans here. “
Does the USA need a driver on the grid?
“I think it’s going to become more of a cultural norm and a storyline that we follow here, whether it’s on ESPN or Fox Sports, or one of our sports networks, the morning news, the evening news, when they are interviewing people.. to make this mainstream. you will definitely need an American F1 driver. “
There are several young talents in IndyCar, could one of them move to F1?
“Of course! You never know how this transition will go, and especially in the race, when the car counts, the team counts, the whole itself counts. It’s really hard to know how it’s going to go. and how is someone going to adjust to the situation, and so you just have to give it a whirl.
“But I don’t think there’s anyone at the top of any motorsport – IndyCar in particular – who can’t do it. It’s just a matter of, are they going to be in. a situation that will give them the opportunity to grow, to show their talents, will they have the right equipment and the right opportunity?
“And if they are, I see no reason why they can’t really do well.”
Let’s talk about you and F1. You were often linked to the change and there were rumors of a Honda test. What happened?
“There was never a test, and no one ever called me! So I don’t know if it was just a publicity stunt to try to create a little conversation around F1, but it doesn’t matter. is never produced. That’s the real story of Danica and Formula 1 … “
You raced Lewis Hamilton in the junior ranks, whereas today there is a W series exclusively for women. What do you think is the best path for a driver?
“Well the same path for everyone. I don’t think there is a special path for a girl compared to a guy trying to get to the top, it’s really a question of where to think “you can have the best results, show yourself, cultivate your talent and get the opportunities. It’s a tough road, for a guy and a girl.”
“I don’t think we’re ever going to see that 50-50 so I don’t know if that’s what people think should happen, half girl half guy, but it’s not a women’s sport. there is sport where there are going to be more girls than guys, it’s the same thing, it falls into what comes naturally to someone.
“But over time I’m sure there will be more and more, as there are more women in the pit lane, there will be more women in the seat, more opportunities. But 50 -50? That won’t happen. “
However, is equality improving in motorsport?
“Totally. There are programs to support it and there is a narrative to support it, I think you see it more and more all the time. But these are big ships to spin. They also have to be interested soon. their youngest age. Like As far as drivers go, you don’t just pluck someone when they hear a story and think, “I’m 22, I’m going to try this. You have to. rather be two!
“These things start very young, so it will be more interesting because it’s been a common narrative for what, 15 years? What’s going to happen in the next 15?
“I also think the best thing about motorsport is competition, it’s intrigue, it’s rivalry. It’s for any sport, you see when there are rivals and when there are rivals. t is really close, until the last lap, the last race, the end of the championship, that’s what interests people.
“Another reason Formula 1 is probably gaining popularity here is because there is a real race for the championship right now. Not only does the Netflix series help and it exposes people in the States that don’t. don’t know as much, but there is something cool to follow. Every time there are stories to follow, it will interest more people. “
Speaking of rivalries … what did you think of Hamilton against Verstappen?
“I think that’s cool – and it’s going to make me more interested in watching more! Because there is something to watch.
“If I wrap the series – F1, Indycar and NASCAR let’s say – F1 it seems like it’s the manufacturers that count and everyone kind of lines up in the race and then in IndyCar it can be a little bit more. mixed up, maybe there are a few more passes and then NASCAR there are some more.
“So I like that it’s not that easy this year, that you have two teams, which is cool because you don’t have to worry about team orders, any kind of c ** *, you’re just going to get the real duo.
“I think that makes him really interesting and I love that Max is this young rider, he’s been around for a few years for sure, but he’s still the young rider and Lewis is the guy who is aiming for the official GOAT medal of most. wins, most poles and most championships this year so I’m sure he really wants to win his eighth. Then you’ve got someone dying for that not to happen to him and he’s young and hungry. It’s very interesting to watch. “
Sky F1’s Paul Di Resta was at SkyPad to analyze the controversial collision between title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, which saw both cars crash
Has it gone too far sometimes this year?
“Every time there is more on the line there is more risk taken. So probably at the start of the season Lewis was quite used to winning and as it continued he thought to himself. “wow, you went on that stretch of trail ‘.
“Maybe he knew that if he were to win this eighth championship, it wouldn’t be that easy.
“You see more desperation and more passion. These are riders who want the same and only one can have it. So you see more of a more competitive nature coming out, which is always exciting to watch as a fan. “