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Davidson endures bruising Australian race 18 Mar 2007

Anthony Davidson (GBR) Super Aguri F1 SA07 and Adrian Sutil (GER) Spyker F8-VII tangle at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2007

Super Aguri’s Anthony Davidson completed a Grand Prix for the first time on Sunday, despite being winded in a first-lap incident, which also inflicted significant damage on his car. Davidson crossed the Albert Park finish line in 16th place.

After lining up 11th on the grid, Davidson’s car failed to get away cleanly at the start, which immediately cost him several places. An incident with Spyker’s Adrian Sutil then saw his Honda-powered SA07 hit on the right-hand side, which launched it into the air. He was left with with back pain and bodywork damage, but carried on regardless.

“The car went into anti-stall at the start, which is such a shame as I didn't go anywhere, so obviously I was then in last place as we went into turn one,” explained the Englishman. “I collected myself and thought that maybe I'd get some early positions back. I went round the outside of one of the Spykers and they hit me quite heavily, even though I thought I'd given them enough room.

“The car got pitched into the air and landed very heavily and I hurt my upper back. The jolt also winded me a lot making talking on the radio difficult. My car suffered a lot of damage, the whole right side of the bodywork was gone, the floor's broken, and I must have lost a major amount of downforce and that obviously slows you down a lot. It was a fight, but I got to the end of the race and saw my first Grand Prix chequered flag.”

Davidson’s perseverance meant that Super Aguri completed a highly promising start to the 2007 season, with both drivers making the finish. Team mate Takuma Sato, who scored the Japanese team’s first top-ten grid slot on Saturday, clinched 12th place, crossing the line less than five seconds behind the leading works Honda of Rubens Barrichello.

Following the race, Davidson visited hospital for precautionay checks on his back, but is expected to be back in action for the next race in Malaysia.