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Danica gets another call from F1 boss

6/26/2005

RICHMOND, Va. -- Danica Patrick got another phone call from Bernie Ecclestone, and she remains puzzled by this series of exchanges after the Formula One boss likened women to "domestic appliances."

"He said that ... he didn't mean to be harmful to me," said Patrick, who received a phone message from Ecclestone when she got off a plane. "He said, 'I wasn't trying to insult you. Quite the opposite, really.' "

Ecclestone's first phone call surprised her.

"All I know is he seems like he's trying to make amends," she
said. "I guess that's nice of him to try and at least make an
effort to call and correct things. But, on the other hand, where
that may be proper slang or a good joke in another country, we
obviously didn't get it here."

Last month, Patrick became the first woman to lead a lap at the
Indianapolis 500. She finished fourth, the best finish by a woman
in the 89-year history of the race, and her second fourth in the
IRL series.

Patrick had received an earlier call from Ecclestone. He had
congratulated the IRL rookie for her performance at the Indy 500,
but also reiterated remarks he had made during an interview at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the U.S. Grand Prix was being held.

Among the comments Ecclestone made in the interview and to Patrick was that "Women should be all dressed in white like all other domestic appliances."

"I just didn't make sense of it," Patrick said during a
subsequent IRL conference call. "I was surprised, I guess,
somebody would say that to me."