As expected, Jaguar Racing has confirmed Christian Klien as race driver for 2004 after the 20 year-old Austrian tested for the team last week. Klien, who was runner up in German F3, impressed Jaguar with his performance at the test, not to mention...
As expected, Jaguar Racing has confirmed Christian Klien as race driver for 2004 after the 20 year-old Austrian tested for the team last week. Klien, who was runner up in German F3, impressed Jaguar with his performance at the test, not to mention his considerable financial backing from Red Bull. Klien replaces Justin Wilson as teammate to Mark Webber.
"Knowing that I am a Jaguar F1 driver has made me the happiest man on earth!" said Klien in a statement released on December 2nd. "I have worked tirelessly over the years to get to this point but I appreciate also that the real hard work for me starts now. I am indebted to Jaguar Racing for giving me an opportunity to prove my worth and I intend repaying Jaguar through hard work, commitment and ultimately, results on the race track."
"Before that, however, I have a responsibility alongside Mark Webber to support the development of the 2004 challenger and that means countless hours of testing over the winter period. This will also be a very valuable familiarisation exercise for me too as I get to know the car, the team and it's associated partners."
David Pitchforth, Managing Director of Jaguar Racing said of the Valencia test: "Christian was in as much control of himself as he was the car. "He was extremely calm, composed and didn't seem remotely fazed by his first ever experience with a Formula One car. His technical feedback was excellent and there is no doubt in our minds about the potential of this exciting new young talent."
"He worked very well with the race engineers and demonstrated increasing speed as he became familiar with the car. Christian's professionalism and brain bandwidth are also very impressive and combined with his application, our decision to employ him as a race driver was based on merit, potential and speed."
Klien's position in the team is effective immediately and he will start testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain today, along with Webber.