F1 News, Views and Reviews

Davidson Wants Friday Testers Return

Anthony Davidson has told Autosport that he wants to see the return of Friday test drivers to Formula One in the wake of in-season testing bans.

The British driver shot to the forefront of people’s attentions performing very well in the Friday practice sessions.  These sessions also brought us great drivers including Sebastian Vettel.

The scheme was introduced in 2003 to allow teams who opted for less in-season test opportunities to test at a circuit in a private Friday morning session outside of the normal practices.  Renault were one of the big teams to “opt-in” and with Allan McNish driving these for them, good results followed.

In 2004 the scheme was adopted allowing all teams who finished outside the top 4 in the constructors title to have a 3rd car in Friday practice.  This continued until the end of 2006.

“Speaking from experience, it did myself, Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel no end of good,” said Davidson

“It put us on the map, it got us into Formula One. Running cars on the Friday, in my mind, was great for the fans that were there anyway, the cars were there anyway, the staff were there to run the cars, and the drivers are there.

“So it made perfect sense, and it still makes perfect sense to run those drivers on the Fridays to give you the experience of learning the circuit. Then you become a more valuable commodity to the teams themselves in that given the chance, you can just then step in on the Saturday and qualify or do the last practice session with the experience of having driven on the Friday.”

“With them trying to limit testing, which they are going to do this season, I think it makes even more sense to run cars on the Friday for the young drivers and give the teams a chance to see what the young drivers can do,” he added.

I reckon allowing ALL teams a 3rd car on Friday’s for the 2 practice sessions now that testing has been banned would be a fantastic idea.

Anthony Davidson at Monaco 2004

Anthony Davidson at Monaco 2004


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