Davidson: Rules don't favour diesels

Anthony Davidson is adamant that the LMP1 rules do not favour diesel engines - and that if a petrol-powered team had Audi and Peugeot's resources, it would be just as competitive

Davidson: Rules don't favour diesels

The former grand prix driver raced a petrol engined car for Aston Martin at Le Mans last season, and has now moved to diesel squad Peugeot. Having raced both cars, Davidson says he disagrees with suggestions that the current rules make diesels unbeatable.

"They are not so different. The ACO have done a good job with the regulations to make them feel of a similar power," Davidson told AUTOSPORT.

"The V12 in the Aston Martin is very powerful - like our engine is in the Peugeot. It is very similar. The power comes in in different ways, but generally it feels similar in terms of straightline speed.

"If you had to choose which is harder to drive, I'd say the Peugeot because the torque is coming in a different way and the petrol car has a much more efficient traction control system because you can cut cylinders which you can't with our car. You have to rely more on the throttle alone. That's a disadvantage for the diesel cars. But while they might be slightly harder to drive they are also quicker.

"Basically the Peugeot is faster not because of the engine, but because of the aerodynamics. Peugeot has more money than Prodrive does and that's why it is ahead - it's not because of the regulations."

He said it would be impossible to compare diesel and petrol cars evenly unless a major team returned to running petrol engines.

"The majority of the money is being spent with Peugeot and Audi," Davidson said. "The others just don't have the budget. Our advantage comes from having a more efficient car. The advantage isn't engine, it's from the aero.

"Until we have a petrol car developed with the same level of investment and resources as the diesels then there should always be a bit of a gap to them."

Davidson added regardless of the engine, he felt more at home in an LMP1 car than anything else he had ever raced.

"I really click with these cars, it is the one, in my whole career, that suits my style the best," he said.

"I know different drivers have their fortes, but this category for me, just all makes sense. It's just something that happens with this type of car and it is not specific to the Peugeot because it happened with the Aston last year. It just clicked. And even more so with the Peugeot."

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