Red Bull confirmed on September 11th that test and third driver Robert Doornbos will replace Christian Klien for the remaining three races of the season. Doornbos, who was previously tester for Jordan and raced with Minardi for eight events last year, joined Red Bull as test driver at the beginning of this season. Klien has been released from his contract to pursue other options.
"It's fantastic to know that I'm going to be racing again, I'm really looking forward to it," said Doornbos. "Friday testing and helping the team this year has been great experience, but to get back out on to the race track on Sunday is what it's all about. I've got to know the guys at Red Bull Racing really well this season, so I'll be working with them all closely to do the best job I can for the team and myself."
Red Bull recently announced that it had signed Mark Webber to race alongside David Coulthard next year, so Klien was out of a seat anyway. Red Bull offered him options with its ChampCar and DTM operations but the Austrian turned them down in favour of chasing an F1 race or test seat. It seems the energy drink manufacturer did not take kindly to his decision.
Red Bull sporting director Christian Horner commented: "Further to Christian's recent decision, we have released him to focus on the next stage of his career. Having done a solid job for us in the third car this season and having previously completed in eight grands prix, Robert is the logical replacement. He will start preparing for his Red Bull Racing debut at the team's test in Jerez this week."
Klien is speculated to be looking at the Toyota test seat that will be vacated when Ricardo Zonta heads to Renault next year. He's also been linked with the newly bought Spyker MF1 team, although current racers Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro seem fairly confident that they will stay on next season.