Racer-turned Sky Sports F1 commentator, Danica Patrick, has found herself in the eye of a storm recently, as her comments and actions have stirred controversy within the Formula 1 community. F1 enthusiasts are not taking her recent behavior lightly, with many even calling for her removal from her current role. In addition to her remarks, she has also hosted a climate change denier on her podcast, a move that seems out of sync with Formula One’s commitment to a sustainable future.
Ironically, Danica Patrick stands as the most successful woman in American open-wheel racing, boasting a career spanning nearly two decades in the world of open-wheel car racing. Her crowning achievement came in 2008 when she became the first and only woman to secure victory in an IndyCar race, triumphing at the Indy Japan 300. Furthermore, she has also dabbled in NASCAR during her racing career.
Formula 1 is not just about the drivers and the cars; it’s also about the voices that bring the sport to life for viewers. Commentators like Simon Lazenby, Natalie Pinkham, and Martin Brundle add a layer of excitement and insight that enhances the overall viewing experience. They have become integral to the sport, essentially becoming its face. It’s hard to imagine Formula 1 without their engaging commentary.
However, the recent comments made by Danica Patrick have left many viewers and fans questioning her suitability for the role. Her controversial moment occurred during the Hungarian Grand Prix when a young broadcaster asked her if she would like to see a female Formula 1 driver in the future. Patrick’s response was not only surprising but also seemed to downplay the capabilities and strength of women in motorsport. She stated:
“I think that the nature of the sport is masculine. It’s aggressive. You have to handle the car—not only just the car because that’s skill, but the mindset that it takes to be really good is something that’s not normal in a feminine mind, a female mind.”
Furthermore, Patrick has raised eyebrows by taking a stance that contradicts Formula 1’s collective effort to become carbon neutral by 2030. On a recent episode of her podcast, ‘Pretty Intense,’ she played host to a guest who happens to be a climate change denier. This move has left fans puzzled, especially considering the ongoing advocacy by prominent figures like Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, and the Formula 1 organization itself for environmental responsibility and the fight against climate change.
While the notion of open dialogue and diverse perspectives is important, even within the context of one’s workplace, it seems Danica Patrick’s recent actions have left a significant portion of the Formula 1 fanbase unimpressed.