Jaguar confirms Klien for 2004

Jaguar Racing has finalised its Formula 1 World Championship line-up with the addition of 20-year-old Austrian Christian Klien, who will partner Mark Webber next year

Jaguar confirms Klien for 2004

Klien excelled in his rookie season in the Formula 3 EuroSeries this year, and also won the prestigious Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort. He is backed by energy drink giant Red Bull, which is now expected to become an associate sponsor of the team as a result of his inclusion.

He had never driven an F1 car until last Tuesday, but Klien impressed sufficiently with his speed and consistency at Valencia with the Milton Keynes-based team.

"Knowing that I am a Jaguar F1 driver has made me the happiest man on earth!" said Klien. "I have worked tirelessly over the years to get to this point, but I appreciate 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 to repaying Jaguar with hard work, commitment and results on the race track."

Jaguar Racing managing director David Pitchforth said: "He didn't seem remotely fazed by his first experience of an F1 car. His technical feedback was excellent and there is no doubt in our minds about the potential of this exciting young talent."

The news means that Justin Wilson, who drove for the team in the last five grands prix of 2003, will lose his drive. His options, even as a test driver, appear limited as new rules bar drivers with previous recent experience from taking part in the Friday sessions on grand prix weekends.

"Our decision to put Christian in the race car in no way reflects upon Justin's clear ability as a competitive racing driver," added Pitchforth. "We are, however, in discussions with Justin about how Jaguar Racing can help with his future career."

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Klien Confirmed at Jaguar for 2004

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