Anthony Denis Davidson (born 18 April 1979) is a British racing driver from England, born in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. He has raced in Formula One for Minardi and Super Aguri, and has been a test and/or reserve driver for the British American Racing, Honda and Brawn GP teams. He is currently a factory driver for the Toyota Le Mans team, an analyst for the Sky Sports F1 HD television channel, and simulator driver for Mercedes AMG Petronas.
- 1 Career
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Racing record
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Davidson began kart racing in 1987, competing in various British, European and North American championships. He won three British championships (93, 94, 95), one Italian championship and was runner-up in the Formula A European championship in 1996. In 1999, he moved to single seater cars, racing Formula Fords and winning the 1600 cc Kent engine class of the British Formula Ford festival that year. The following season, he was runner-up in the British Formula Ford championship but did win the blue riband Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and scooped the McLaren/Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award.
In 2001, Davidson competed in the British Formula Three championship with the Carlin team, finishing second overall to teammate Takuma Sato. His performance improved throughout the season and he outscored Sato from June until the season's end. He also won the Formula Three Pau Grand Prix, the Spa Masters and the FIA European Cup.
BAR and Minardi
In late 2000, Davidson became the test driver for the British American Racing (BAR) Formula One team for the 2001 season. The following season Davidson started two races for the small Minardi team, temporarily replacing regular driver Alex Yoong, who the team had decided to suspend after he had failed to qualify for three races. Minardi had originally planned to put Justin Wilson in the car, but he proved too tall. Davidson's qualifying times were within 0.6s of teammate Mark Webber at his two starts in Hungary and Belgium, but he spun out of both events.
He was not given a chance to race in 2003 and remained as test driver at BAR. Race drivers were Takuma Sato and Davidson's countryman Jenson Button who joined the team from Renault. When Sato was promoted to the race team following the departure of Jacques Villeneuve, it presented Davidson with the opportunity to become third driver. This was especially useful in 2004 as BAR were able to run a third car in Friday morning testing, which became Davidson's duty. He frequently impressed with his pace, although some have questioned the validity of these times as a raw indicator due to the lack of need to conserve the car in the way race drivers Sato and Jenson Button did.
In November 2004, BAR announced that it had failed to come to an acceptable contractual agreement with the Williams team to allow Davidson to drive for Williams in 2005 because Williams would not agree to his unconditional "repatriation" to BAR in 2006. Given BAR's long-term contract on Davidson, his chance of securing a race seat for 2005 was therefore called into serious doubt. He was given the opportunity to fill in for an unwell Sato at the 2005 Malaysian Grand Prix, but his engine expired just two laps into the event.
In 2006 Davidson resumed his role as test driver for BAR, now owned by Honda and renamed Honda Racing F1. As BAR had failed to be one of the top four constructors the previous season Honda were able to run a third car on Friday, giving Davidson a bigger role than in 2005. Having previously done some radio commentary work for BBC Radio 5 Live, in 2006 he made his debut as a television commentator, standing in for the absent Martin Brundle for ITV Sport at the Hungarian Grand Prix, which was won by Jenson Button and the Honda team. In 2008 Davidson returned to Honda as test driver for the testing at Spain's Circuit de Catalunya whilst Honda test driver Alexander Wurz was racing at Le Mans.
At the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix Davidson was running third when his car struck a groundhog on the straight before the pits, ultimately putting him back to 11th place and ending his bid for his first career points. At the Hungarian Grand Prix Davidson's rear suspension was broken during a collision with Giancarlo Fisichella, which forced him to retire. Davidson finished the season in 23rd place having scored no points.
Amid financial problems which threatened their continued participation in Formula One, Super Aguri retained Davidson alongside team-mate Sato for 2008. However, on 6 May 2008 Super Aguri withdrew from the Championship leaving Davidson without a race seat.
Return to Honda
Davidson was announced as a Honda test driver for the remainder of 2008. On 5 December 2008 Honda pulled out of Formula One due to financial problems. Ross Brawn bought out the team and formed Brawn GP and Davidson signed on as a test driver. On 16 November 2009, engine suppliers Mercedes-Benz bought out Brawn GP and renamed the team Mercedes GP. Davidson continued in his role and reserve and development driver.
Davidson raced for the Aston Martin Racing team in the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans, alongside Darren Turner and Jos Verstappen. His team drove Lola-Aston Martin B09/60 in the LMP1 class, which finished 13th overall in the race. He returned in the 2010 edition, driving for defending champions Team Peugeot Total alongside Alexander Wurz and Marc Gené. The trio warmed up for Le Mans by leading a Peugeot 1-2 in the 2010 12 Hours of Sebring. However, in the Le Mans race his Peugeot car had an engine failure while leading. Following Le Mans, Davidson raced at the 2010 6 Hours of Silverstone with Nicolas Minassian and secured victory for Peugeot Sport. In October 2010, Davidson secured pole position at Petit Le Mans, and went on to finish second with team-mates Alex Wurz and Marc Gené.
In 2011, racing the 908 for Peugeot Sport, Davidson along with Wurz and Gené, won the 6 Hours of Spa, and finished 4th at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Teaming up with Sébastien Bourdais, Davidson went on to win the 6 Hours of Imola, and the 6 Hours of Zhuhai, victories which helped Peugeot Sport secure the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) Championship for the second year running.
With Peugeot pulling out of factory sports car competition, Davidson signed with Toyota to drive its Toyota TS030 Hybrid in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans. Five hours into the race, as Davidson was lapping the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia GTC of Piergiuseppe Perazzini, the two cars collided at the end of the Mulsanne Straight. The collision turned Davidson's car sideways before becoming airborne, flipping through the air, before landing back on its wheels and made heavy contact with the barriers. Davidson initially tried to get out of his car before calling for assistance; he was later transferred to hospital where he was later diagnosed with fractures to the eleventh and twelfth thoracic vertebrae of his back.
He has since been heard as a co-commentator on selected Grands Prix for BBC Radio 5 Live. This became permanent on 13 February 2009, when it was announced he would commentate alongside David Croft for the 2009 season. Davidson has continued in the role through 2010 into 2011, as the BBC decided on an unchanged lineup for its radio Formula One coverage. On 7 December 2011, Sky Sports announced that Davidson would join its team as an analyst for race weekends, and would be commentating on practice sessions from the 2012 season.
During the studio for the 2013 USA Grand Prix Qualifying Davidson admitted that his design was inspired by Eddie Cheever's helmet. When he was in the early days of his career he saw the picture of Eddie's helmet and together with his father who is a graphic designer did the design he has been using for most of his career.
Davidson was linked with incoming teams Virgin and Lotus for the 2010 F1 season. However, Davidson did not secure a 2010 race seat in F1, and instead turned his focus to racing sports cars. In F1 he continued his long-standing relationship with the Brackley based Mercedes F1 Team, combining duties as reserve and simulator driver in 2010 and 2011, and continuing his simulator role into 2012 and 2013.
Codemasters Formula One games
Davidson has been working as an advisor for Codemasters on F1 2009 (for Wii, PSP and iPhone/iPod Touch) since 2009, and F1 2010 (available for PC) which was released in September 2010. His helmet design is available to select for the user's driver in the game. Recently he has worked with Codemasters-Birmingham on F1 2011 and F1 2012.
On 11 August 2006, Davidson married his girlfriend Carrie in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The couple live in Brackley. His brother Andrew Davidson appeared in the first series of Big Brother in the UK. When Andrew was up for eviction in week two, housemate Darren nominated him giving the reason for the nomination, being that his brother had a race the following week and would want to leave the house to see him. Andrew was evicted that week.
He was friends growing up with the late Dan Wheldon, who competed in Indy Car.
* Season in progress.
† In addition to competing in the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans race, Peugeot Sport only contested selected events in the 2010 Le Mans and American Le Mans Series.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)
24 Hours of Le Mans results
|2003||Veloqx Prodrive Racing|| Kelvin Burt
|Ferrari 550-GTS Maranello||GTS||176||DNF||DNF|
|2009||Aston Martin Racing|| Darren Turner
|Lola-Aston Martin B09/60||LMP1||342||13th||11th|
|2010||Team Peugeot Total|| Alexander Wurz
|Peugeot 908 HDi FAP||LMP1||360||DNF||DNF|
|2011||Peugeot Sport Total|| Alexander Wurz
|2012||Toyota Racing|| Sébastien Buemi
|Toyota TS030 Hybrid||LMP1||82||DNF||DNF|
|2013||Toyota Racing|| Sébastien Buemi
|Toyota TS030 Hybrid||LMP1||347||2nd||2nd|
Complete FIA World Endurance Championship results
|2012||Toyota Racing||LMP1||Toyota TS030 Hybrid||Toyota 3.4 L V8 (Hybrid)||M||SEB||SPA||LMS
|2013||Toyota Racing||LMP1||Toyota TS030 Hybrid||Toyota 3.4 L V8 (Hybrid)||M||SIL
* Season in progress
- "Anthony Davidson's Twitter Bio". Twitter. Retrieved 2010-07-23.
- "Who's Who: Anthony Davidson". F1Fanatic.co.uk. 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-13.
- "BAR signs Anthony Davidson as test driver". GPUpdate.net. 2000-12-04. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- "Right Here, Right Now". www.justinwilson.co.uk. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
- "Davidson returns as Honda tester". BBC News. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- "Davidson confirmed at Super Aguri". Grandprix.com. 2006-11-15. Archived from the original on 17 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-15.
- English, Steven (2010-02-22). "Davidson joins Peugeot for Le Mans". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 2010-02-22.
- "Peugeot Takes 1-2 Finish at Sebring 12 Hours". American Le Mans Series. 20 March 2010. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
- Dagys, John. "Davidson Lands Toyota Drive". Web. SPEED.com.
- "Anthony Davidson in hospital after Le Mans 24 Hour race accident". BBC Sport (BBC). 16 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- "Davidson crashes in Le Mans". Sky Sports (BSkyB). 17 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- Strang, Simon (17 June 2012). "Davidson sustains broken back following airborne crash at Le Mans". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- "Anthony Davidson joins Radio 5 Live's Formula One commentary team" (Press release). BBC. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
- "Davidson to continue BBC radio role". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). 2010-02-06. Archived from the original on 9 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- Sky Sports http://www1.skysports.com/formula-1/news/12433/7356971/Sky-reveal-2012-F1-team
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- The 2010 Drivers Market Eurosport.Yahoo.com 6 November 2009
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anthony Davidson.|
- Anthony Davidson profile and statistics
- Career statistics pre F1 and F1 career
- F1Fanatic Who's Who: Anthony Davidson
Ricardo van der Ende
|Formula Ford Festival Winner
Alan van der Merwe
|FIA European Formula Three Cup
/ Pau Grand Prix winner
|McLaren Autosport BRDC Award