Klien given Superlicence 10 minutes before practice
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
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.