Danica Patrick  United States

  • Full name Danica Sue Patrick
  • Birth date March 25, 1982
  • Birthplace Beloit, Wisconsin,
  • Current age 35 years 244 days
  • Height 5 ft 1 in
  • Weight 100 lb
driver portrait

In the male-dominated world of motorsport, Danica Patrick has used her sexuality to great effect but has also carved out a reputation as a decent driver, good enough to win the the Rookie of the Year for both the 2005 Indianapolis 500 and the 2005 IndyCar Series season. In 2008 she became the first woman to win an Indycar race with victory in the Indy Japan 300, and in 2009 finished third at the Indianapolis 500.

Patrick started racing karts aged 10, and when she was 16 moved to England for three years where she raced in Formula Ford and Formula Vauxhall ("It felt much more old-school over there … women still cooked and cleaned") before securing a drive in the USA in 2002.

In 2005 she started driving for Rahal Letterman Racing in the IRL IndyCar series, briefly leading the Indianapolis 500 before finishing fourth. A season of consolidation followed - her best being two fourths - before she switched to Andretti Green Racing in 2007 where she took her first three career podiums. Her real breakthrough came in 2008 with her win in Japan, team owner Michael Andretti, saying: "I'm thrilled for her that the monkey is finally off of her back." She finished sixth in the championship but it was, Japan aside, another mixed campaign. Patrick's third at the 2009 Indy 500 was the best by a woman, helped her to fifth in the standings.

While a media darling and generally popular with the public, some have expressed reservations about her use of her sexuality, particular in photoshoots for magazines such as Sports Illustrated and FHM. She was voted sexiest athlete in a Victoria's Secret "What is Sexy" list, and was voted No. 42 in 2006 and No. 85 in 2007 in FHM's 100 sexiest women in the world.

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