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The New Brits

Anthony Davidson has been talking about his career and hopes for the future. His contract with Super Aguri is his first season-long chance in F1 competition and he wants to make the best of it. Five years as a test driver is a long apprenticeship.


Anthony Davidson

As might be expected, Davidson thinks that customer cars will be good for the sport, especially as they will mean that new and smaller teams will not be sentenced to an extended period of being back markers, coming in two or three laps down on the rest of the field. Using chassis that have already been through extensive development, such teams could realistically expect to be competitive in a very short time and the spectacle for the fans would be better as a result.

This is all relevant to the looming row over Super Aguri’s intention to use a development of the Honda 2006 car this season, of course. Things are quiet for the fledgling Japanese team at the moment but are bound to heat up if Toro Rosso lose their battle to run a variation of the Red Bull RB3 in 2007. Gerhard Berger seems confident of winning that one so there may be a good chance that SA will get their way too.

Naturally, Davidson wants SA to succeed in their plan as it will give him a good car in which to make his mark in F1. He deserves such a chance in view of his long wait and previous brief debut in a Minardi. Customer cars are coming, like it or not, in 2008 so I think no harm will be done by allowing them this year. It wouldn’t be the first time that rule changes have been instituted ahead of their projected time – we already have a standardized tire formula even though it was not due to happen until next year.

I think the teams protesting about SA’s and TR’s cars are over-reacting anyway. Neither team will suddenly shoot to the front of the field as a result of using good chassis; it will take time for them to get used to the cars and tune them in for optimum running. And even Adrian Newey has been trying to deflate some of the hype surrounding his RB3, pointing out that it is unrealistic to expect it to be a world beater right from the start.

Let the second teams have a decent chance, say I, and then we’ll get some really competitive races. And we might even get to see how good Davidson is.

Another Brit whose stock is increasing is Gary Paffett. If Prodrive are to be a sort of B team for McLaren/Mercedes next year, they will need drivers. Gary’s position as a McLaren test driver puts him in pole position as one of Prodrive’s line-up. Ideally, they would want an experienced driver as number one (David Coulthard maybe?) and Gary could slot in as the young hotshoe. On his past record, he would be ideal for the task.

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