AUGUST 23, 2005
Davidson free to go to Jordan
British American Racing boss Nick Fry has given Anthony Davidson a very clear message by saying that "if Anthony feels he cannot wait for the final decision over Jenson, then he is free to secure a race drive elsewhere". This commits the team to nothing because using Anthony is only one of the choices that the team is considering: our sources are split on whether or not Nick Heidfeld has an option with BAR but the balance of evidence suggests that there may be nothing on paper but that an offer exists for Heidfeld to join Barrichello if Button does not move to Williams. There is also the question of Takuma Sato who is likely to be included in the team as a test driver until such point as he jumps ship and tries to get a ride elsewhere or Honda decides to supply a second team. Takuma has not done enough this year to guarantee his slot alongside Barrichello in 2006 and his best course of action may be to use his Honda links to take off to America, where Honda continues to compete in the Indy Racing League.
Honda has just won its second consecutive manufacturers' title in the IRL and there are signs that the company may stay on in the series even after Toyota takes off to NASCAR. Honda Performance Development president Robert Clarke said last week that "we've been very pleased with the relationship we've had with the Indy Racing League, what we've gotten out of it today. We're not looking to leave." If Toyota does leave the series at the end of next year, Honda could be the sole supplier although there is talk of other companies coming in to challenge.
Davidson's old mucker from karting days, Dan Wheldon has now moved into a position in which it is virtually impossible for him to lose the Indy Racing League championship. He is 97 points clear of Sam Hornish Jr and only mathematical gymnastics provides the possibility for the British driver to lose. Davidson still says that he is not yet done with F1 but there must be voices saying that going to America would be better for his career, particularly if he were to be shoe-horned into a top team by Honda, as a thank you for all his work in F1.
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