Enstone, Tuesday: Double world champion and Renault lead driver Fernando Alonso is reported to be “dismayed” at rumours that the fledgling USF1 team may be interested in testing IndyCar driver Danica Patrick when the team gets off the ground.
Patrick, who has a single IRL victory to her name after a win at Motegi last year, is one of the Indy Racing League’s most marketable and valuable drivers despite her modest success. Explanations for this anomalous situation vary, although most hinge on the fact that Patrick has been photographed sprawling across expensive cars in minimal clothing (investigations by researchers for The Runoff Area have discovered that similar attempts to increase Jenson Button’s profile have met with less success).
Formula One has always attempted to increase its profile in the United States, usually without success, so the prospect of a popular American driver making her way to F1 in a US-run team has certainly attracted plenty of attention in the sport’s commercial circles.
Reports from Renault, however, have suggested that former champion Alonso has greeted the news with less enthusiasm, as he is said to be concerned about Patrick impinging on a niche the Spaniard has spent a number of years carving out for himself.
“Fernando is a little worried about what would happen if Danica were to enter F1,” an anonymous Renault source told us today. “The role of whingeing, blubbering prima donna has been exclusively Fernando’s property for some time now. Given Danica’s occasional outbursts over in the States, attacking drivers like Milka Duno and generally being a pain in the arse, Fernando is dismayed that such monumental arrogance might displace his own fairly modest attempts at acting like an objectionable child some of the time.”
Fans of Patrick are also said to be among the more vociferous and unbearable of IRL followers, though a spokesman for the McLaren supporters’ association claimed that they were not worried about the threat: “We’ll out-moan them any day,” he confidently suggested.