Tag Archives: Christian Klien

Klien still in talks with Hispania

Christian Klien is still hopeful of a 2011 drive

Christian Klien is still hopeful of a 2011 drive

As it has been for some time, there is only one seat left to be filled for the 2011 season – the second driver role at Hispania. Christian Klien has revealed that he is still in talks to take the final race seat.

Klien, who drove for 5 races for HRT last year, impressed the team by out-qualifying Bruno Senna on multiple occasions. However, he has recently been on the back foot, as both Vitantonio Liuzzi and Giorgio Mondini have been testing in last year’s F110.

Despite this, Christian remains confident of racing in F1 this year. In an interview published on his own site, he stated:

"My manager Roman Rummenigge is in permanent contact with the team's management. 
Needless to say I would love to drive for HRT. I am convinced the team will make 
good progress and surprise a few people. In Geoff Willis and chief designer Paul 
White they have engineers who know very well how to build competitive racing cars. 
I would love to develop it further. And they are masters of efficiency like no 
other team on the grid."

Even if Klien gets the drive, he and the team will be faced with the huge challenge of developing a car, three weeks before the start of the F1 season, that hasn’t turned a wheel yet. Despite this, he remains hopeful that Hispania can become more competitive than last year:

"Each day matters. But if you look back how this team rose from the ashes of another 
operation at the beginning of 2010, you will have no doubt HRT will make the most of 
its limited resources in 2011. They have a solid and analytical way of facing 
challenges."

The rest of the interview is available on Christian’s website.

Klien retained by Hispania for Abu Dhabi

Christian Klien will stay on at HRT for Abu Dhabi

Christian Klien will stay on at HRT for Abu Dhabi

Christian Klien will stay on at the HRT team for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it has been revealed today. He will continue to partner Bruno Senna, while Sakon Yamamoto and Karun Chandhok continue to be left on the sidelines.

After replacing Yamamoto for the Singapore GP and impressing the team, Klien was hired again for the Brazilian GP, where he out-qualified Bruno Senna by more than half a second. Because of this, he will be retained for the final race of the 2010 season.

It’s good to see Hispania are starting to prioritise driver ability over financial assets brought to the team, but very few fans will be happy until we see Karun Chandhok return to the driver’s seat. However, with the 2011 driver market closing up fast, time is running out for Chandhok to get a drive for next season.

Klien to replace Yamamoto for Brazil

The Hispania Racing Team have said that Christian Klien will be replacing Sakon Yamamoto for the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.

This is the second race weekend this year that this will be happening, the other being in Singapore, when the team claimed Yamamoto was “unwell”, even though he could be observed strolling through the paddock all weekend.

Christian last raced at Interlagos in 2005, but seems to be confident that he can keep up with Bruno Senna this weekend:

"I am excited to come to Brazil where I already raced two
times, the last time in 2005, and where I could achieve
good results. The circuit is quite challenging and we are
racing anti-clockwise which is going to be tough for the neck.

There are many slow corners and the long straight at the
start-finish-line where high speeds are possible.

I am very happy to get a second opportunity to do another Grand
Prix here after Singapore and I hope that we are doing a good
weekend with positive results.

 

Klien to replace Yamamoto for Singapore GP

It has been announced today that Christian Klien will replace Sakon Yamamoto for the Singapore Grand Prix weekend. It appears as if Yamamoto is suffering from food poisoning, although there will be questions raised as to why Karun Chandhok was not put back in the race seat.

Team Principal Colin Kolles said:

"It looks as if Sakon Yamamoto has a food poisoning, and he 
doesn’t feel well. Because of this, Christian Klien will be 
driving the car this Friday and the rest of the Singapore 
Grand Prix. I hope Sakon gets well soon and is able to drive 
at his home Grand Prix in Japan."

Klien has previously driven for Hispania in practice sessions at the Spanish and European Grands Prix, but has not been competing in any races so far this year.

This isn’t bad news, seeing as Yamamoto is gone for one race, but it’s very disappointing to see the team continue to snub Karun Chandhok, who Bernie Ecclestone said last week needed a better car to prove his talent. Unfortunately, after this, I can’t see him driving at any time this year.

Klien given Superlicence 10 minutes before practice

Christian Klien almost didn't make it to Friday Practice 1

Christian Klien almost didn't make it to Friday Practice 1

It turned out today that HRT test and reserve driver Christian Klien was only granted his Superlicence 10 minutes before the start of Friday Practice 1.

The Austrian driver was being offered to drive in FP1 as part of being the team’s second reserve driver, alongside Sakon Yamamoto. However, his debut drive for the team nearly didn’t happen at all, as Christian explains:

"It was a bit exciting today as I got my Superlicense only ten 
minutes before the start of the first practice session! 
Fortunately, everything had been prepared perfectly and then I was 
allowed to jump into the car.

I had 90 great minutes in the car. It was my first time in a Formula 
1 car since January last year and felt perfect right away; I was 
able to feel the limits of the car and posted constant times, which 
will help the engineers - I was able to give them important feedback 
to improve, in terms of setup, and my work with top teams will help 
them."

I’m glad that Klien is being given a chance to drive in F1 again, but he still needs a good car to be able to prove himself. However, the fact that he beat Bruno Senna by an entire half a second in only 90 minutes of practice shows what potential he has.

The problem is the testing ban. With this, test and reserve drivers, especially young drivers, will be unable to get attention for themselves and therefore struggle to get race drive positions. One idea I had would be a “reserve driver test”, once or twice a year, where the test and reserve drivers would test and develop the car. This would help the teams with their development, and also give a chance for reserve drivers to show what they are worth. I’ll write more on this idea after this weekend.

Klien to replace Chandhok in Friday Practice 1

Christian Klien will drive in the Spanish FP1

Christian Klien will drive in the Spanish FP1

HRT have announced that their test driver Christian Klien will replace Karun Chandhok for Friday Practice 1 in Barcelona this weekend. The Austrian driver had just joined HRT this week as their second test driver alongside Sakon Yamamoto.

As well as Fairuz Fauzy and Paul di Resta, Klien will be the third test driver so far this year to be given driving time during the race weekend.Colin Kolles said this about him:

"He is a young and fast driver. I have been keeping a close eye on 
him since his first races in the ADAC series as I believe he has 
great potential. We look forward to having Christian alongside us in 
Barcelona later this week so he can spend some valuable 
familiarization time with the team. As a young team we are looking 
or drivers who can grow with us."

Klien last raced in F1 when he replaced Jenson Button at Honda for one race at the 2007 British Grand Prix. It’s great to see him be given another chance, because he was never really given space to show his potential.

Just one problem I have though: HRT really need to announce news like this better. I only found out that Yamamoto was a test driver by accident, and I only heard about Klien today, even though he was signed earlier this week. And this is just the view of an F1 fan, think of how potential sponsors must be feeling. HRT should definitely shout a bit louder about themselves if they are to progress in the F1 world.

Renault: Money not incentive for Petrov interest

Eric Boullier, team boss of Renault

Eric Boullier, team boss of Renault

Renault team boss Eric Boullier has denied that the team are looking into having Vitaly Petrov as a driver because of his sponsorship, saying that the first priority is talent.

The Frenchman, who relaced Flavio Briatore as team principal last year, says that he is considering many other drivers.

He told ESPN:

“I am not just talking to five drivers but actually to everyone who does not have an F1 contract. I have been speaking with Nick Heidfeld (now confirmed as Mercedes’ reserve driver) and also with Takuma Sato, Christian Klien and Romain Grosjean, amongst others.”

“I am looking for talent first and foremost, but then after that I do need to consider the sponsorship opportunities; people say we are only looking at Petrov because he is bringing a lot of money, but he is not the richest driver we are talking to.”

So I was right in saying that Renault were interested in Klien, Sato and Grosjean. But, none of these 4 have really proved themselves. Klien seems to be pushed aside a lot, and tends to go as test driver. Sato is a bit dangerous for a team that wants to distance itself from crashing (owned!!). And Grosjean does deserve another chance, but I doubt that anyone will offer it to him.

Petrov has shown form in the GP2 series, but possibly not enough of it. This may leave Renault in a tough spot. If they wanted proper talent, they should have gone for Heidfeld while he was still there. Fisichella is still in the market, however.

At the end of this, however, I still think Renault will sign Petrov. MegaFon (who sponsor Renault) are underdstood to have interest in the Russian, he has huge backing behind him, and the GP2 guys always deserve a chance.

Petrov moving in on deal with Renault

Vitaly Petrov

Vitaly Petrov

There are reports that Russian Vitaly Petrov is closing in on a deal that will see him race at Renault this season alongside Robert Kubica.

The 25-year-old, who finished 2nd in the GP2 Series last year, has many reports from Enstone that he is in consideration for the job. He has a huge amount of backing from the Russian government (another example of politics in these situations) and current Renault sponsor MegaFon, who are also Russian.

It is understood that Petrov is being considered alongside an F1 driver with recent experience. This may be Romain Grosjean, but I doubt it. Jacques Villeneuve hasn’t got recent experience, so he is out of the picture also. It seems that USF1 is the only option left for JV. The other driver may also be Christian Klien or Takuma Sato.

If Petrov fails to get the seat at Renault, he may also get a role in Campos. This is because he used to race for them in the GP2 Series (2007-2008) and Gp2 Seies Asia (2008-2009). Also, Campos seem to be in difficulty financially, so Petrov’s huge backing will be a large incentive.

Petrov also seems to have a good amount of talent along with his backing. In the complete GP2 series, he finished 13th and 7th in 2007 and 2008 with Campos. He then moved to the GP2 Asia series, another popular series for upcoming F1 drivers, and finished 3rd and 5th in 2008 and 2009.

Whichever team he may join, it is my opinion that we will almost definately see the first Russian Formula 1 driver in 2010.

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