Honda confirms Davidson as 3rd driver

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The Honda Racing F1 Team is pleased to confirm that Anthony Davidson will be its Third Driver for the 2006 Formula One season. 26 year-old Davidson, who has been with the team since 2001, now completes Honda Racing’s full race weekend driver line-up for the coming season alongside race drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

Anthony will fulfil the crucial Friday testing role at each Grand Prix, as well as regular testing duties throughout the year. He will also be on stand-by should he be required to substitute for either race driver in a Grand Prix at short notice.

The team is delighted that Anthony will remain as part of its driver line-up and grateful for his continued loyalty and dedication. To retain a driver of Anthony’s calibre will greatly strengthen the team’s performance and its ambitions of winning the Constructors’ Championship.

This will be Anthony’s fifth year with the team. After three seasons in the roles of test and reserve driver, Anthony made the step up to third driver in 2004, delivering excellent performances in Friday testing in 2004 to regularly top the free practice timesheets. With no third driver role in the 2005 season due to the team’s second place finish in the 2004 Constructors’ Championship, Anthony concentrated on testing where his commitment and insight have been highly valued by the team.

Commenting on the continuation of his role as Third Driver, Anthony Davidson said, “I’m really looking forward to starting the 2006 season with the team in its new guise as the Honda Racing F1 Team. I have enjoyed five years with the team during which time I have made a positive contribution to its development. My decision to remain with Honda is the right one, for sure. They are committed to F1 for the long-term and absolutely focused on winning the World Championship. Although I would prefer to be in a race seat in 2006, I am in the best possible position to work towards achieving that goal. For now, we have a very intensive testing programme coming up in preparation for what should be an exciting 2006 season.”

Gil de Ferran, Honda Racing F1 Team Sporting Director, comments, “We have said many times how important Anthony Davidson’s contribution has been over the past few years to our progress and competitiveness. We are delighted that he accepted our offer to remain with the team as our third driver for 2006.”

”Although we all know that Anthony aspires to be a Formula One race driver, and we are all confident that this will happen eventually, his role at Honda Racing is crucial to us this season. In addition to regular testing duties he will also be present at each Grand Prix weekend for Friday testing and to assist with tyre and set-up decisions.”