Today we wish Anthony Davidson a happy 33rd birthday!
Considered one of Britain’s next big F1 prospects, Davidson’s stop-start F1 career has never given him the platform to truly demonstrate his skills.
He was signed by the BAR team in 2000 when he was fresh out of Formula Ford, he won that year’s McLaren BRDC Young Driver of the Year at the AUTOSPORT Awards, earning himself a seat with Carlin Motorsport in the British F3 championship.
He was beaten to the British crown by Takuma Sato, and suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck when he crashed at the season-ending Macau Formula 3 event.
He joined BAR’s test driver line-up in 2002, and earned a surprise call-up to the Minardi team for the Hungarian and Belgian Grands Prix in place of Alex Yoong. Lacking race fitness, he spun out of both events.
His performances were not enough to earn him a race seat in 2003 or 2004, and he remained on the sidelines with BAR.
He finally earned a call-up with the team at the 2005 Malaysian Grand Prix as the stand-in for the indisposed Sato, but his race lasted just a handful of laps before his Honda engine blew.
Partnered with Sato, the team’s lack of funding meant that he was rarely given equal equipment, but he performed solidly given the hand he was dealt. He remained with the team for the 2008 season, but it collapsed after four races when its funding ran out.
With no more F1 opportunities available, he made a successful switch to endurance racing with Peugeot’s factory squad, but lost out when the French carmaker quit its motorsport programme at the start of 2012. He has now been signed to Toyota’s new Le Mans programme.
Extremely articulate, Davidson has also proven himself to be a capable performer in the commentary box, firstly with BBC 5 Live and now he’s a member of SKY Sports’ F1 broadcast team.