Danica Patrick on Lewis Hamilton being more aggressive in 2021

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

American Former Indycar and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick talks about the increasing number of incidents between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

Danica Patrick will be joining the Sky Sports broadcast team for the United States Grand Prix, so she was asked to give her thoughts on the current state of the 2021 championship.

While talking about the ongoing battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, and their continued clashes, Patrick acknowledged that Lewis Hamilton is now less likely to back away than he would have been in the past.

“Whenever there’s more on the line there’s more risks taken,” she said.

“So probably at the beginning of the season, Lewis was pretty used to winning and as it’s gone on and on, he’s been like ‘wow, you’ve gone on that stretch of track’.

“He maybe knew that if he’s going to win that eighth championship, it’s not going to be so straightforward.

“You’re seeing more desperation and more passion. These are drivers that want the same thing and only one can have it.

“So you’re seeing more of the more competitive nature come out which is always exciting to watch as a fan.”

Patrick was also asked about Formula 1’s increased popularity in the US.

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“The popularity in the States has definitely grown because of the Netflix series,” Danica explained.

“Drive to Survive has been really, really popular and I’ve heard from so many people over the years, people saying ‘Hey, have you seen that? It’s so crazy and interesting, I had no idea!’

“There’s just a lot of people that have become aware of how intense Formula 1 is, the storylines, the controversy… they’ve created a story and that’s really what broadcasting or writing is all about.

“I think the Netflix series has probably been the most influential single thing to drum up popularity of F1 in the States in recent times.”

However, she acknowledged that F1 needs to have a US driver to really break through to the American audience.

“I do think for it to become more of a cultural norm and a storyline that we follow here, whether it’s on ESPN or Fox Sports, or any of our sports networks, morning news, evening news, when they’re interviewing people… for it to become mainstream. you’re definitely going to need an American F1 driver.”

In previous years there have been talks from Formula 1 bosses that Patrick, a big star in the US, could be given a test to possibly enter Formula 1. She, however, says nothing was ever said to her.

“There was never a test, and nobody actually ever called me! So I don’t know if this was just a PR stunt to try and create a little bit of a conversation around F1, but that never happened.

“That’s the real story of Danica and Formula 1,” Patrick concluded.

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