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Anthony Davidson Set for 2007 Aguri Seat

Written by: Adam Cooper

Vastly experienced Honda test driver Anthony Davidson is being lined-up for a race seat with Super Aguri for next season, according to senior Honda sources.

The Brit was in talks with the fledgling team before the start of this season, but eventually settled on another year with Honda. One of the attractions was that, as in 2004, the team was eligible to run a third car on Friday, giving the Brit a chance to showcase his ability on race weekends.

As things stand Honda is fourth in the constructors’ championship, and while BMW is closing fast, if the team retains that position it will lose the third car for next season. In any case Davidson has long been trying to establish himself in a full-time race seat and get away from being typecast as a test driver.

Davidson has only started three GPs so far. He replaced the "rested" Alex Yoong at Minardi in Hungary and Belgium in 2002, while in Malaysia last year Takuma Sato’s illness gave him a last-minute chance in the second BAR. Alas, an engine failure put him out almost immediately.

While there is obviously a lot of commercial pressure to have two Japanese drivers at Aguri – Sakon Yamamoto is set to replace Franck Montagny in the French GP next month – there’s a feeling in the team that it needs experience and pace if it wants to progress with its new car. Next year the works and Aguri cars will share the same Bridgestone tires as well as the engine, gearbox and control systems. Honda will also be very happy to see Davidson in the Aguri seat, as he is part of the family.

If as expected Sato stays he and Davidson will be recreating their successful Carlin F3 line-up.
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