Danica Patrick would be “the dream driver" for new F1 team

Danica

Danica Patrick would be “the dream driver" for Gene Haas, whose American-based F1 team will debut in 2016.

Haas Formula had been granted an entry to the sport for next year, but will now defer until the following season to ensure the new outfit is fully prepared to tackle grand prix racing.

And when asked about drivers, Haas admitted that Patrick - who currently competes for his NASCAR squad - would fit the bill perfectly.

“Danica Patrick in one of our cars would be the dream driver,” Haas told the official F1 website.

“She is a woman in a man’s sport - that would attract a lot of attention. She weighs about 50 kilos - which these day sounds fantastic - so indeed she’s got a lot of attributes that would be good to have.”

Haas added that he is likely to combine a grand prix veteran with an American for his team’s maiden campaign.

“Realistically the first driver is going to be a current F1 driver who knows the ins and outs of the sport, to help us sort out what we have to do and who can give a lot of feedback. In that mould would be driver number one. Driver number two would be American.”

A number of American drivers currently compete in the European junior categories, including Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly in GP2. Scott Speed was the most recent American representative in F1, spending a disappointing season and a half at Toro Rosso in 2006-07 before making way for a young Sebastian Vettel.