Christian Klien hired as BMW test driver

Former Jaguar and Red Bull Formula One driver Christian Klien has taken a test driving position with BMW Sauber's F1 team.

Christian Klien, Force India F1 Team.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Team principal Mario Theissen announced Saturday that the team had hired the 24-year-old Austrian because they wanted a test driver with Formula One experience. Klien has made 46 F1 starts. The team's other tester is Estonian Mario Asmer.

Klien raced for Jaguar Racing in 2004 with Mark Webber as teammate. At the end of that year, Jaguar sold to Red Bull Racing, which hired veteran driver David Coulthard, who has been a mainstay for the drinks company-sponsored team. Klien was replaced at Red Bull by Webber in 2006. In three seasons in F1, Klien scored 14 points.

Without an F1 race ride in 2007, Klien eschewed an opportunity to race in Champ Car in the United States, choosing instead to become "third driver" and to test for Honda F1.

Klien was one of several drivers who auditioned to drive for the new Force India team, which competed as Spyker last season and Midland the year before that after longtime F1 campaigner Eddie Jordan sold his eponymous team in early 2005. Giancarlo Fisichella took the Force India drive.

Klien, who began racing in karts, raced the Formula BMW series from 1999 to 2001.