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Has Anthony Missed The Boat?

Has Anthony Missed The Boat?

Anthony Davidson in 2006It is often said that Stirling Moss was the greatest driver to have never won the Formula One Drivers Championship. And is also said by many that Chris Amon was the greatest driver to have never won a race. So following that trend of thinking…

Will Anthony Davidson become greatest driver to have never received a full-time drive?

Born in 1979, Anthony has been competing in motorsport since the age of eight. He managed his first win in karts at the tender age of nine, and has been impressing people ever since with his talent and control. Anthony has won the Autosport/McLaren Young Driver of the Year award in 2000 and in the same year accepted a drive for Carlin Motorsport in the British F3 championship.

Late in 2000, the call from BAR arrived inviting the young driver to become their official tester, and Anthony has remained with the team ever since. He has competed in three Formula One races deputising for Alex Yoong in the Minardi in 2002 on two occasions, and also Takuma Sato in the 2005 Malaysian Grand Prix for BAR.

Anthony Davidson has impressed team bosses up and down the pit lane for many years. His ‘Man Friday’ sessions have been nothing short of brilliant, and he has become an accomplished test and reserve driver with the now-called Honda squad. I don’t think there isn’t a person in F1 who would say that Anthony doesn’t deserve a shot at the big-time. His loyalty to Honda has been unprecedented, and many times it was thought that he would get his chance and be awarded with a full time drive. Alas, that call hasn’t been made, and Honda have recently opted for experience over potential ability with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

Anthony Davidson prepares for a runWith Button looking to stay with the team for the next few years, Anthony has to compete with other more expreienced and already-proven drivers for the sole remaining seat. This – I imagine – is a very hard thing to do. Honda signed Barrichello late last year, and I believe it was the correct thing for the Japanese team to do. Although Rubens is yet to shine in the new car, I’m sure he will earn his way before the season reaches the halfway point. However, this isn’t good news for ‘our boy Davidson’.

So what should the young man do? Should he stick at it with Honda, and hope that one day he will be able to prove himself at the helm of the Honda with a full time drive? Or should he consider jumping ship? If he were to join another team, who should be on his list?

Ferrari are probably all sewn up with drivers, regardless of what Kimi chooses to do. Should Ron Dennis of McLaren tell Kimi to scoot off to the Scuderia and tell Juan to tot along to Toyota to make way for Alonso and Davidson? Or should the canny Briatore sell Renault the idea of a Brit in a French car? What about Red Bull? Could they lure Davidson with the promise of Newey, Ferrari and lots of money? Would they want two Brits in the team?

Although Anthony is only 26 (and three quarters), it is worth pointing out that Alonso is only 24, and the new wunderkind – Nico Rosberg – is barely out of nappies (20)! Time is ticking Ant, and I think you should make Mr Dennis remember the reason why you won that award all those years ago.

Or am I wrong? Has Anthony missed his boat…?

Oliver White

3 comments

  • if super aguri manage to get a ‘proper’ car onto the grid by mid-season, it’s possible he could move sideways into the 2nd honda team this year. maybe?

  • I hadn’t thought of a side-step to SAF1. But as Chris says, that may ruffle a few feathers.

    If Dave Richards (ex BAR chief and Anthony’s old boss) does launch his own team in 2008 with his Prodrive company, that may be one good option should it be available.

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