Red Bull Racing has been one of the surprises of the early season and the team currently lies fifth in the constructors' standings, ahead of Ferrari. Between them, David Coulthard and Christian Klien have scored more points in the first three...
Red Bull Racing has been one of the surprises of the early season and the team currently lies fifth in the constructors' standings, ahead of Ferrari. Between them, David Coulthard and Christian Klien have scored more points in the first three races than Jaguar did the whole of last year.
How long Red Bull can continue to mix with the front runners remains to be seen, but for the moment the team is competitive. "We did a lot of testing before the season stared so I guess we then felt quite prepared, but sure, compared to last year we are well ahead," Klien told Motorsport.com.
"Red Bull fuel, what else can I say!" He joked about the pace of the car. "The whole package has improved, every area including the engine has made a step forward."
Klien debuted in F1 with Jaguar last year and had an average rookie season, topped by sixth place in Belgium. He was in the points in Melbourne and Malaysia this year -- only in Bahrain did he fail to score, when an electrical problem on the grid meant he never even got to start the race.
Having an F1 veteran like Coulthard as a teammate has helped Klien. "I had a pretty good start this year and have obviously benefited to drive next to David, who is a very experienced driver," he said.
"Having David as a teammate is great for both me and Tonio (Liuzzi), who are much less experienced. For sure, every young driver learns a lot from an experienced driver that has been in motorsport for such a long time."
Klien now has to hand his race seat over to third driver Liuzzi at Imola -- Red Bull wants both the youngsters to have experience in competition this season. Obviously it's disappointing for Christian but the team made it clear from the outset that this would happen.
"Well, this is a decision that I was fully made aware of from the very start this year," said the Austrian. "I just have to hope that I will be back driving very soon. It is a competition and we have to do our best to prove that we'll deliver."
However, even if not racing, Klien will be behind the wheel at Imola. Red Bull appealed to the other teams to let him take the third driver role on Fridays of race weekends and they agreed. He was previously exempt as the rule states the third driver may not have raced in more than six GPs in the previous two seasons. That rule has now been deleted by the FIA.
While Klien steps into the third driver role, Liuzzi will get his chance to show what he can do -- although for how long seems undecided. For Christian, the question of when he will return to the race seat has an easy answer: "Obviously as soon as possible!"