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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Davidson upstages Schumacher

Alan Baldwin in Nuerburgring | May 28, 2004 21:00 IST

BAR test driver Anthony Davidson upstaged Ferrari's six times world champion Michael Schumacher in Friday's first free practice for the European Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old Briton, who can practice on Fridays but will not race on Sunday, boosted his growing reputation by pipping Schumacher in front of the German's home fans.

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Davidson lapped the circuit on a cold but bright morning in the Eifel mountains in one minute 29.447 seconds, 0.184 quicker than Schumacher and 0.418 ahead of Ferrari's Brazilian Rubens Barrichello.

Australian Mark Webber, increasingly linked with a move from Jaguar to Williams, was fourth fastest.

Davidson has made more and more of an impression this season, with team mate and compatriot Jenson Button adding his voice to those calling for him to get a race drive next year.

"Anthony deserves a race seat, he's proved he's quick and I think in a race situation he would be good," said Button, a former karting rival. "He wouldn't change as some drivers do when they get into a race situation."

Button and Japanese team mate Takuma Sato were 10th and 14th quickest respectively.

Davidson started two GrandPrix for Minardi in 2002 and has frequently been the quickest non-Ferrari driver on the track in Friday sessions this year.

The test driver does not have to worry about preserving his engine in the same way as race drivers, limited to one per weekend, however and is often working to a different programme with more laps.

Schumacher, who equalled Formula One's best start to a season by winning the first five races, crashed in Monaco last Sunday after a collision with Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams in the tunnel behind the safety car.

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella did not register a time after stopping on the circuit. His Sauber was then towed back to the garages.

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