Exclusive Q&A - Anthony Davidson 20 Apr 2007
Super Aguris Anthony Davidson waited a long time for a Formula One race drive, but now that wait seems to be paying off, with the Honda-powered SA07 already proving one of the surprise packages of 2007. With it, the fledgling Japanese team have been giving the Honda works squad a run for their money, proving for Davidson that not only is patience a virtue, but that small can be beautiful
Q: It was a long road you took to secure a Formula One race seat. Now you are suddenly mixing it with big British names like Jenson Button and David Coulthard - and with a team on a relatively small budget. A big surprise?
A: It doesn't really come as a surprise to me. I've been racing Jenson since I was eight years old and I've spent a lot of time with DC on the track during my five years of testing. It's not something I'm fazed by, as this is something I've been working for since 2002. The team is small but very motivated, and determined to keep improving race by race.
Q: You now have six Grands Prix under your belt, the first as far back as 2002. How would you analyse your first three races of 2007 - your first three consecutive Grands Prix? Are you satisfied, or could you have done more?
A: More is always possible, but I'm happy with my first three races this year. I've learnt so much already, and I think Bahrain showed how quickly I learn as a driver - five years away from racing and I'm happy how natural it feels to be racing wheel to wheel again.
Q: When looking at yours and Takuma Sato's qualifying performances, one might conclude that the car is a better qualifier than a racer. Is there a reason?
A: I don't think that it is a better qualifying package - I think Bahrain proved that, where I was able to challenge the Renault of Heikki (Kovalainen) all the way until the engine failure. Understanding the tyres has been the key factor this year so far, and in the beginning it was easier to find a one-lap balance on new tyres than to understand what happens during a race.
Q: There is a four-week break between Bahrain and the Spanish Grand Prix with a test session in Barcelona in between. Will there be a major re-vamp of the car or new parts introduced? What is the teams main focus in the preparation for the European season?
A: Obviously Barcelona is a circuit we all know very well. There will be some improvements to the overall package, and hopefully we will be able to continue our momentum for the European season.
Q: Will there be a B-specification version of the SA07 in the near future?
A: It is a small team with limited resources - there will improvements over the year, but not a B version as such.
Q: Your goal this year surely must be to score points. At the moment you dont look too far off. When do you think the car will be ready to really go for it?
A: I think if we can hit the sweet spot with the car balance through the whole weekend, when other bigger teams falter then this is when we can strike.