F1 »

Davidson: F1 should re-instate third car Fridays.

The ban on in-season testing and lack of a third car during Friday practice on grand prix weekends has severely reduced the opportunities for aspiring young Formula 1 drivers to show team bosses their mettle, Anthony Davidson has argued.

During his days spent testing for BAR-Honda and Honda from 2001 to 2006, the 29-year-old was a regular feature at the top of the Friday timesheets, and it was just such impressive performances that finally earned him his full-time racing bow in the top flight with Super Aguri in 2007.

With third cars having been outlawed from running on the opening day of the weekend since the end of 2006, however, and all general testing now also banned from the Australian Grand Prix in March until after the close of the campaign seven months later, Davidson argues that testing is no longer anywhere near as valuable to young drivers as it used to be – and called for the sport to re-introduce the rule enabling teams to field a third car on F1 Fridays.

Aside from the Hemel Hempstead-born ace, new grand prix winners Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel both made their names in the uppermost echelon and secured their spots on the grid by dint of catching the eye on the weekend's opening day.

“These days it's not a very good job,” Davidson – who earlier this week revealed that he had been in 'serious' talks with Honda about trying to revive his F1 career in 2009, following the collapse of Super Aguri last year [see separate story – click here] – told German-language website adrivo.com. “It is not what it once was because everything has been cut back so much.

“We used to test for four days with three cars in Barcelona or even in Bahrain. They were fantastic times for test drivers.

“The Friday tests were also very good for us, and it is really unfortunate that those opportunities for test drivers are no longer there. Drivers like myself, Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica had the chance to show in the Friday tests what we could do in a Formula 1 car under pressure.

“We did a good job and all become proper race drivers. Whoever didn't prove themselves on the Fridays did not get race cockpits. It therefore functioned very well.

“It's bad enough that this opportunity is gone, and now all the other tests during the season have gone as well.”

Acknowledging that he is now unlikely to get an F1 racing or testing role for 2009 at this late stage, the former McLaren/Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year revealed that he is hoping to land a drive in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours in June. His name has been linked with Peugeot for what would be his second assault on the gruelling French round-the-clock sportscar classic, having initially competed at La Sarthe in a Veloqx Prodrive Racing-run Ferrari 550-GTS Maranello six years ago.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Anthony Davidson (GBR) Super Aguri SA07, Indianapolis F1, USA, 2007
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Jim - Unregistered

January 14, 2009 10:19 AM

I do think the ban on mid season testing is a bad idea! It will make it very difficult for teams to progress and iron out any problems with the cars, maybe they should just limit testing and allow it between March - July and then the end of the season where the teams are more than likely concentrating on next years cars!



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.