Davidson's role not under threat

BAR boss David Richards has quelled fears that Anthony Davidson's position as a test driver is under threat following the signing of Takuma Sato

Davidson's role not under threat

The Japanese has joined the team as 'reserve' driver, but Richards insists that the three-year deal has no affect on Davidson's position. Instead, he made it clear that the Briton's hopes of being loaned out to race for another team may not be dead.

"We are very supportive of Anthony, he has a long-term agreement with the team," Richards told Autosport.com. "We have been trying to place him in a race seat for next season. Those options are, to my knowledge, still open, and I'm meeting Anthony later this week to talk it through with him.

"But if those options don't come to fruition, there will always be a testing role for him back with us at BAR. There is enough work for them, that's for sure."

There are only two remaining race drives left open in F1 for next year: one at Minardi alongside rookie Justin Wilson, and the second seat at Jordan. For both drives, Davidson would have to bring substantial funding to the teams.

If he fails to secure one of the drives, Davidson will find himself working with his old Formula 3 team-mate. Sato and Davidson fought out the British F3 title in 2001 at Carlin Motorsport, a battle the Japanese won.

BAR has chosen the unlimited testing option rather than taking part in the Friday morning sessions at grands prix next year. That means both drivers are likely to notch up plenty of F1 miles throughout the season.

Eddie Jordan has wished Sato luck after the Japanese decided to cut his losses with the team. "Takuma Sato has natural driving talent and a lot of bravery," Jordan said. "We had an eventful and exciting season together this year. I have every confidence in him and I hope he will build on the ability that we saw demonstrated in Suzuka - perhaps one of the best drives of the season. I would like to extend my thanks to Takuma and the Honda Dream programme."

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