Davidson Signs Two-Race Deal with Minardi

Briton Anthony Davidson will make his Formula One debut at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend after signing a two-race deal to stand in for Alex Yoong at the Minardi team.

Davidson Signs Two-Race Deal with Minardi

Briton Anthony Davidson will make his Formula One debut at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend after signing a two-race deal to stand in for Alex Yoong at the Minardi team.

The British American Racing test driver will compete in Hungary and Belgium in place of out-of-form Malaysian Yoong, who will be rested, the team said.

"This is a fantastic opportunity, as Formula One is something I've been dreaming about since I was a child," said 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."

Yoong will take part in an extensive testing programme during his break as he aims to regain confidence after failing to qualify three times this year, and the Malaysian admitted that although he was disappointed, he accepted team boss Paul Stoddart's decision.

"I accepted Paul's decision, which resulted from a frank discussion with him," he said. "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."

Stoddart admitted that the decision to rest Yoong had been one of the most difficult to make but said he expects the Malaysian to return at the Italian Grand Prix.

"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," Stoddart said. "Ours is not a team to abandon its drivers and it seemed most constructive to let Alex have a short break from the pressure.

"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. We obviously welcome Anthony to the team and look forward to working with him in Hungary and Belgium."

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