The HRT F1 Team has announced its second reserve and test driver for the 2010 season, with Austrian Christian Klien joining the team in addition to Japan’s Sakon Yamamoto.
Klien will be part of the team’s race weekend preparations and drive on Friday morning at the Spanish Grand Prix during its first European race in its inaugural season.
Klienwill also provide car development support back to the team, assisting drivers Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna.
Beside his F1 obligations, Klien will continue to drive in the sportscar program in order to gain as much racing mileage as possible.
Dr. Colin Kolles, Team Principal of HRT F1 Team, said that Klien’s appointment is due to his huge potential.
“We are very proud to welcome Christian Klien to HRT F1 Team,” he said.
“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 familiarisation time with the team. As a young team we are looking for drivers who can grow with us.”
The 27-year-old Austrian, who came third in the 2008 Le Mans 24 Hour in the LMP1 class, has also been a test driver in 2007 at Honda Racing F1 Team, also testing briefly for Spyker F1 Team and Force India F1, and in 2008 and 2009 at BMW Sauber F1 Team. He drove his maiden season of F1 with Jaguar Racing 2004 at only just 21 years, and then Red Bull Racing for two seasons (2005-2006).
Klien says that while his focus has been on sportscars in recent times, he is keen to show he still has what it takes to compete in Formula One.
“This role offers me the opportunity to rejoin the Formula One environment and drive again, which is naturally where my longer-term ambitions lie,” he said.
“It is exciting and very motivating to be part of a new team structure in such a challenging sport. At only 27 years with six seasons of F1 under my belt I am sure I can bring a lot of experience and enthusiasm into HRT F1 Team.”