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Davidson stays on with Honda 10 Jan 2006

Anthony Davidson (GBR) BAR Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19,  Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, 14 October 2005

Will another year's testing bring that elusive race seat?

Anthony Davidson will continue as Honda’s third driver for the 2006 Formula One season, ending speculation over a potential race drive with Super Aguri. Davidson, 26, who has been with the team since 2001, completes Honda’s Grand Prix driver line-up alongside Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

Davidson 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.

“My decision to remain with Honda is the right one, for sure,” he said. “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."

It will be Davidson's fifth year with the team. After three seasons in the roles of test and reserve driver, he made the step up to third driver in 2004, regularly topping Friday’s free practice sessions. With no third driver role in 2005 due to the team's second place finish in the 2004 constructors' championship, he concentrated on testing.

“We have said many times how important Anthony Davidson's contribution has been over the past few years to our progress and competitiveness,” said the team’s sporting director, Gil de Ferran. "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."

Davidson’s decision to remain with Honda follows a test with the MF1 team late last year. His only Formula One race experience remains two Grands Prix with Minardi in 2002 and a single outing with BAR at Sepang last year.