DAVIDSON TO MAKE FORMULA ONE DEBUT IN HUNGARY The KL Minardi Asiatech F1 Team today announces that Anthony Davidson will replace regular driver, Alex Yoong, for the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix. During this time, Yoong will take part in an...
DAVIDSON TO MAKE FORMULA ONE DEBUT IN HUNGARY
The KL Minardi Asiatech F1 Team today announces that Anthony Davidson will replace regular driver, Alex Yoong, for the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix. During this time, Yoong will take part in an extensive test programme aimed specifically at assisting him to improve his performance in qualifying. The intention is that Yoong will then reclaim his seat with the Faenza squad and compete in the remaining three Formula One races of the season, at Monza, Indianapolis and Suzuka.
Hemel Hempstead-born Davidson comes to the team with impeccable credentials, having developed his racing skills in karting (runner-up in the 1996 European Karting Championship and 1997 Asian Karting Champion) before commencing a rapid ascent of the single-seater racing "ladder". Notably, he won the 2000 Formula Ford Festival, at Brands Hatch, and the European Formula Three Championship title in 2001. The 23-year-old has also covered over 12,000 km in a Formula One car as an official test driver for British American Racing.
"This is a fantastic opportunity, as Formula One is something I've been dreaming about since I was a child," comments Davidson. "I want to do a professional job for Paul Stoddart and the KL Minardi Asiatech team in Hungary, and my primary target is to qualify for the race. If I can do that in my first Grand Prix, I will be more than happy. I've not been to the Hungaroring before, so this will be a new experience for me. I love learning new circuits, though, as it's all part of the challenge of motor racing."
Though disappointed, Yoong fully understands the reasons for the team's move. "I accepted Paul's decision, which resulted from a frank discussion with him," he says. "It was a mutual decision, as both he and I felt a rest would be beneficial for me in the medium term. The breather will allow me to regroup and recharge in order to take on these challenges again."
KL Minardi Asiatech Team Principal, Paul Stoddart, says, "It has obviously been a difficult decision to 'rest' Alex for two races, but it's clear he is struggling with his qualifying pace at the moment. Ours is not a team that abandons its drivers, though, and it therefore seemed like the most constructive course of action was to let Alex have a short break from the pressure-laden environment of Formula One weekends.
"During the intervening time between now and the Italian Grand Prix, he will take part in a testing programme tailored specifically to addressing any loss of confidence he may have suffered and to assisting him improve his qualifying performances, so that he can rejoin the team for the final three races of the season. It's a tough call, but I believe the right one for Alex and his career. We obviously welcome Anthony to the team and look forward to working with him in Hungary and Belgium."