Q & A WITH ANTHONY DAVIDSON, SAF1 TEAM DRIVER, CAR 23
Q: Are you happy with the progress that the SAF1 Team has made during the winter preparations for the coming season?
Anthony Davidson: I am very happy. Reliability has been on our side and we have not caused one Red Flag situation during testing so far, which is really good because a lot of the other teams have caused a lot of stoppages during testing, so I think that this has been one of our strengths going into the early part of the year especially.
We have made a lot of progress on making the Bridgestone Potenza tyres work, because in the beginning it was a struggle for everybody, including our team, when it was cooler and there was a lot less grip. But we have really turned this around and I feel much more comfortable driving the car now at this point. I have worked on changing my driving style slightly to suit the new tyres and I think that everyone has been in the same situation up and down the Paddock.
Q: And with the 2007 car preparations?
AD: During the first week's testing in Bahrain last month we tested some new aero parts. The team has expanded the aero department over the winter and has made some pretty impressive steps forward. In Bahrain we found that the new aero package was looking after the tyres quite well, on the longer runs especially. The car was a lot more balanced and I think that Taku had a very positive test the following week when even further upgrades were made. The team is pushing forward a lot and we should see some good results.
Q: What will F1 be like with only Bridgestone Potenza tyres in 2007? Will the sport change?
AD: I do not think it will change from the general public's point of view. We will still have two different tyre types, albeit from the same manufacturer. The different compounds that we will have at the races will make it interesting, seeing as we have to use at least one of each type during the race, so this will be good for the fans.
Obviously there is no 'tyre war' as such between manufacturers, but this is Formula One and the sport will always naturally push things to the limit. Even though the tyres are a little slower than what we had last year, the cars are constantly developing and Bridgestone will obviously be pushing to keep the teams happy, and when we are fast we are happy!
Q: Who do you think that you will be taking the challenge to this year?
AD: The first challenge will be to take it to Takuma, to fight him through the year and be as close to him as I can from the word 'go'. By the end of the year I hope that both of us will have worked with the team to improve the car and be taking the challenge to the teams at the back of the grid, within striking distance of our car, and from what I have seen from testing so far, this is likely to be teams like Spyker and Toyota.
Q: What is it like working with Takuma again?
AD: It is really nice. It is good to arrive at a new team with new faces, but to also have a known quantity in Takuma. And someone you know you can work well with aswell - we always have. We raced against each other in Formula 3 in 2001 and were obviously team mates at BAR Honda, so it is good to have him here.
Q: What are your aims for 2007?
AD: To finish the race in Melbourne and get to the checkered flag - that's the first goal. It is something I have never done in Formula One and I hope to progress from there. Also to bring a few points home for the team would make a dream year for me. So my aims have to be to improve the car as the year goes on and be fighting for points at the end of the season. A personal aim is also for the last race to be my best race -- I want to improve myself constantly as the year goes on.
-credit: super aguri