Anthony Davidson admits he'd rather win Le Mans in 2015 than defend his world title
Sky F1 pundit reigning WEC champion after clinching 2014 title with Toyota
By William Esler
Last Updated: 10/02/15 3:33pm
Anthony Davidson admits winning the Le Mans 24 Hour race this year is arguably a more desirable goal than defending his world championship.
The Briton claimed the 2014 World Endurance Championship title for Toyota along with Sebastien Buemi after winning half the races during the season.
Yet Davidson admits it was frustrating that the prestigious 24-hour race was not one of those victories.
“I’m in two minds really – now I’ve won the world championship it feels like job done, it was a great year to win it while the championship is young and energetic,” Davidson told Sky Sports Online when asked if he would like to win Le Mans or defend his title.
“There is a lot of focus on the WEC at the moment and Porsche’s return to the championship turned a lot of heads and made people take notice. So it was a great year to win it and now it feels like I can just focus on Le Mans which has eluded me for so many years in sportscar racing, but in the same way that I want to win Le Mans, racing drivers are naturally greedy and competitive and I want to win everything.
“When you’ve the number one on your car you want to hang onto that for the year after as well and it gives you the confidence and the right to believe that you belong at the front and that it is for everyone else to beat you. But you need the car to do it and as Sebastian Vettel proved last year if you don’t have the car to do it, you are not going to have the faintest of chances.
“I would love to win as much as I can, I really had a good year last year, but that one race keeps slipping away and I want to try everything I can – at least in my power – to make sure it is going to come my way this year.”
Some feel that Toyota will never win at the Circuit de la Sarthe while only entering two cars in the race – a view that Davidson disagrees with.
“It would be a luxury to have for sure, but it is what it is, we have two cars for this year’s championship and that includes Le Mans as well,” he said.
“You can win it with one car if you do everything right and luck is on your side. I’ve been there with Peugeot in the past when we had the four fastest cars to win the race – over two seconds per lap faster than the nearest Audi – and none of us finished through engine reliability, I think one of us had a suspension issue and just genuine bad luck for another and Audi got a one, two, three.
“They grabbed it from nowhere, they really did, so I have seen the slower car take the victory at Le Mans and I have been in the situation where the fastest car hasn’t delivered the race victory, not just for me, but for the whole team. So I would be quite happy to just have one car if I knew it was going to be reliable, fast and have a good handful of luck come my way as well.
“So yes I know it is more bullets in the gun when you have multiple cars to throw at that race, but it is still never a given.”
Davidson and Buemi were partnered by Nicolas Lapierre for the opening four rounds of the season and the Briton admits it was difficult physically to complete the season with just two drivers.
“Initially it was quite strange, quite difficult as you get quite a good rapport and bond with your teammates in endurance racing and to have Nico leave Sebastien and I to spearhead the championship attack was a bit strange in the beginning,” Davidson said.
“But we restructured ourselves and got a good format going after the first race that we did it alone and we won the first race in Fuji together Sebastien and I, then went onto win the next race in Shanghai as well. We found a good format, but still physically it was very difficult with just the two of us to do a six-hour race – it meant that your concentration levels had to be doubly as high as normal and it was more draining.
“To do a six-hour race with two drivers was pretty tough, it was more gruelling than doing a single grand prix.”