Klien not giving up on F1 racing future
|By Pablo Elizalde||Friday, January 9th 2009, 12:07 GMT|
Christian Klien says his goal remains to secure a racing seat in Formula One, despite having being a test driver for three years now.
The Austrian made his grand prix debut with Jaguar in 2004 but was left without a racing seat in 2006 before joining Honda as a tester the following year.
Klien then moved to BMW Sauber, where he has been working as a test driver for the past two years.
Although the 25-year-old has not raced a grand prix car in three years, Klien admits his sights are still set on a return to racing.
"How could it not be?" said Klien when asked if his target was a race seat.
"F1 is my place and I have settled in really well in a fantastic environment," he told the official Formula One website.
"I am well aware that a second chance is often much harder to get than a first one, but I have something to offer that makes me confident that I can reach this goal.
"At 25, I have three years of F1 racing experience and I am now my third year of testing with a manufacturer F1 team. And the BMW Sauber F1 Team is really professional on all levels. They clearly see the benefit in a reserve driver actually going racing once in a while.
"That's why Mario Theissen was kind enough to let me race at Le Mans and Petit Le Mans/USA, to stay in shape and not lose focus."
With in-season testing banned from this season, Klien will have a lot less track time than before.
The Austrian, however, says his role during the winter will be more important than ever.
"Well, the 'downgrade' came along with a massive 'upgrade' in responsibility in winter testing. I got to drive a lot over the winter and the duties were pretty evenly split between Robert, Nick and me," he added.
"If you compare this to other teams' regimes, I cannot complain at all. I take that as a sign of faith. And once the season is underway, my job does not end. I will still be fully involved, and mentally and physically fit to jump into the race seat whenever needed."