Will Davison to drive F1 car at Albert Park

Supercars star Will Davison has been appointed as the new driver of the Minardi two-seater Formula 1 car during the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Will Davison to drive F1 car at Albert Park
Will Davison, Paul Stoddart and Will Power
Will Power and Will Davison
Will Davison
Will Davison
Will Davison, Tekno Autosports Holden
Podium: winner Will Davison, Tekno Autosports Holden
Will Davison and Jonathon Webb, Tekno Autosports Holden
Will Davison, Tekno Autosports Holden
Will Davison, Tekno Autosports Holden
Will Davison, Tekno Autosports Holden, Tim Slade, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Will Davison, Tekno Autosports Holden

With regular two-seater driver Cameron McConville stepping down, Davison has been recruited as the high-speed chauffeur to celebrities and VIPs across the AGP weekend in March.

That means the 2016 Bathurst 1000 winner will have the opportunity to complete a number of laps of the Albert Park circuit in the V10-powered, modified Minardi F1 car, which in a sense is a dream come true for a driver who was once knocking on the door of his own F1 career.

“Formula 1 was the real dream I chased for a long time,” Davison told Motorsport.com. “I had my big crack at F1, there’s no hiding the fact that that was a real dream and a real passion of mine that I pursued hard.

“There is still a big place in my heart for the F1 fraternity and the F1 world. I’m obviously well past that now as a driver and in terms of racing in Formula 1, but it’s still cool to have that small taste at any opportunity – particularly at Albert Park.”

It won’t be Davison’s first go in a Minardi Formula 1 car. Back in 2004 he and fellow Aussie young gun Will Power both tested a Minardi F1 car proper at Misano, right before Davison opted to return to Australia and pursue a Supercars drive with Dick Johnson Racing.

Davison has also sampled the two-seater Minardi in the past, completing a number of passenger rides at Mount Panorama back in 2014.

Given that relatively recent experience, he doesn’t see any issues with getting back into open-wheeler mode after a decade of racing Touring Cars.

“I did so much open-wheeler driving in my early career, it was just the norm for me,” Davison said.

“After 10 years in Supercars you do miss the purity of driving an open-wheeler. I won’t say I took it for granted as a youngster, being in a Formula 3 car somewhere in Europe every third day or whatever, but after 10 years with a roof over your head you do miss the purity of what single-seaters are, and the performance of a Formula 1-style car.

“It came back to me pretty quick when I jumped in a couple of years ago at Bathurst, and I feel very at home in an open-wheeler. Those cars are just so good to drive at 90 per cent; they have so much grip, so much braking performance, they’re very comfortable to drive and incredibly quick.

“And I’m not out there to break lap records, I’m out there to give the passengers a buzz. For me, the sheer enjoyment of sitting in one of those things, grabbing the throttle, and the hitting the picks after the 100 metre board, it’s those sorts of sensations that take you back to why you love the sport.”

The Davison family has a long history with the Albert Park circuit, dating back to Will’s grandfather Lex Davison, a four-time Australian Grand Prix winner who raced in the 1953 AGP at the Melbourne parklands circuit.

“There is some cool history there with my grandfather and I love adding little chapters to that,” said Davison.

“I’ll enjoy every moment of it, that’s for sure.”

Davison will cut his first laps of Albert Park in the Minardi on Wednesday March 22, a day before the season-opening Grand Prix weekend kicks into life.

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