Japanese squad Super Aguri turned heads on the Circuit de Catalunya pitwall on Tuesday morning when new race driver Anthony Davidson emerged from the garage at the wheel of a re-liveried 2006 Honda car.
A statement issued by the Leafield based team, which is powered by Honda V8 engines, said 27-year-old Davidson’s mount was the ‘SAF1 Team Interim Car’, despite the fact that it was nearly identical to the works RA106 racers – now running in plain black livery – steered in Barcelona by Rubens Barrichello and James Rossiter.
Davidson, Honda’s test driver last year and therefore accustomed to the works 2006 chassis, lapped just half a second behind Rossiter’s best time on Tuesday.
Super Aguri, which is run by the former Japanese driver Aguri Suzuki but maintains strong ties to the Honda Motor Co., struggled in 2006 to develop the nearly five-year-old Arrows A23, and was disappointed when its plan to use a works Honda chassis next season was scuppered.
However, Scuderia Toro Rosso used a reworked 2005 chassis this year, having slipped through loopholes including the fact that one of its owners – the energy drink company Red Bull – actually built the car.