Davidson: Random F1 order now fading

After a topsy-turvy start to 2012, a natural order is now beginning to establish itself at the head of the field. That is the view of former Super Aguri driver Anthony Davidson, who now works as a television pundit for the British broadcaster Sky.

This week, Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn was quoted by Reuters as saying F1 “must make sure” that the “random factor” seen earlier in 2012 is not permanent. Briton Davidson, however, thinks the problem is already fading.

“I don’t know whether we’re going to see a surprise like, say, a Maldonado win a race through to the end of the year,” he told Sky Sports News. “I think now you’re starting to see that natural progression of top teams starting to pull away. But I could be wrong,” added Davidson.

Indeed, looking at the championship standings, reigning champions Red Bull lead the historic grandee McLaren, while two-time champion Fernando Alonso tops the drivers’ points table ahead of six rivals who are either established race winners or former champions.


Davidson breaks back in Le Mans smash

F1 television pundit and former Super Aguri driver Anthony Davidson is in hospital after a huge airborne crash during the Le Mans 24 hour race.

The 33 year old was involved in a smash whilst at the wheel of his Toyota hybrid prototype sports car after an attempt to overtake the Ferrari of Piergiuseppe Perazzini on the entry to the corner at the end of the Mulsanne straight. Davidson’s car was launched into the air before smashing into the barriers. Perazzini’s LMPGTE Ferrari also hit the barriers before flipping onto it’s roof.

Toyota initially released a statement saying “Doctors at the circuit have confirmed that Anthony is suffering from shock and back pain, however there are no signs of any injuries and he is walking and talking with no problems.”

However after Davidson had been taken to a local hospital for some checks, it emerged that the Brit had suffered breaks to his T11 and T12 vertebrae. It is understood that it will take around three months for the breaks to heal.

Davidson later tweeted from his hospital bed, “Well that was a big one! Lying in a French hospital with a broken back wasn’t what I had in mind at this stage in the race…”

25 F1 drivers to tackle Le Mans race

More than 25 drivers with Formula One experience will be on the grid at this weekend’s 80th running of the fabled 24 hour Le Mans race.

Near the front, in the premier LMP1 prototype class, will be Allan McNish and Marc Gene, driving for Audi. Scot McNish raced in F1 with Toyota in 2002, while Gene drove for Minardi and is still a Ferrari test driver. Toyota has since left F1 and for 2012 has entered Le Mans, and the Japanese marque’s number 8 entry is a grand prix-superteam featuring Anthony Davidson (Super Aguri), Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso) and one-off 1999 Minardi driver Stephane Sarrazin.

Another hybrid Toyota prototype will be raced this weekend by Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima. Also in the premier prototype class will be the F1 veteran Nick Heidfeld, driving a Lola-Toyota. His teammates are Neel Jani, a former third driver for Toro Rosso, and quadruple F1 world champion Alain Prost’s son Nicolas.

Also driving in the LMP1 class this weekend are Franck Montagny (Super Aguri), Jean-Christophe Bouillon (Sauber/1995), Sebastien Bourdais (Toro Rosso/2008-9), David Brabham (Simtek/1994) and Karun Chandhok (HRT/2010).

In the LMP2 class, former Ferrari and McLaren driver Stefan Johansson, now 55, will be driving a Lola-Nissan. Also racing will be the Swiss Jean-Denis Deletraz (Pacific/1995) and Bas Leinders, a Belgian who was Minardi’s Friday practice driver in 2004.

British veteran and highly respected F1 commentator Martin Brundle, meanwhile, is sharing a Zytek-Nissan with his son Alex, who this year is a regular in the support series GP3. Also in the LMP2 class are Shinji Nakano (Minardi/1998) and Brendon Hartley, the 22-year-old New Zealander who was an official Red Bull reserve driver in 2009.

Driving a Ferrari 458 in the GT class is grand prix winner Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni. Italian Bruni, now 31, raced for Minardi in 2004.

Ferrari test driver Andrea Bertolini and Olivier Beretta (Larrousse/1994) share the other Ferrari-linked AF Corse entry, while Jan Magnussen (Stewart/1997-8) is driving a Corvette.

In another Corvette will be the former F1 safety car driver Oliver Gavin, while former Minardi driver Pedro Lamy is set to race a similar car.


Davidson unimpressed by Massa

Felipe MassaAnthony Davidson, formerly an F1 driver for Super Aguri, has blasted Ferrari s Felipe Massa s performance at the weekend. The Brit has said that Massa is always one of the first to point fingers when one of the slower drivers makes an error, however he did exactly the thing during the British Grand Prix.

Massa had a dismal race at Silverstone, spinning five times during the race and finishing two laps down in last place. Massa also appeared to infuriate some of the drivers by not getting out of the way quickly enough when blue flags were waved at him.

“He is always the first to stand up in a drivers meeting and complain about what people like me are doing when we get lapped,” Davidson said. “That s what you get, mate. There s a bit of blue flag action for you.

“You re rubbish you re useless at it!”