Jaguar signed Klien for talent

Jaguar is insisting that it has signed Formula 1 rookie Christian Klien for his talent rather than the size of his budget from Red Bull. This is according to a story in this week's AUTOSPORT Magazine.

Jaguar signed Klien for talent

It is said that the 20-year-old Austrian will bring something in the region of $15 million to the team, which makes this one of the largest pay-driver deals in Formula 1 history.

"The sponsorship was a bonus," said Jaguar managing director David Pitchforth. "This was very clearly done on talent and potential. We need the right driver behind the wheel."

"Christian did a very good job, starting at the factory. We did some driver evaluation in our simulator and then in the car. He didn't put a foot wrong."

Whilst Klien's talent is clear following his second place in the Formula 3 Euroseries this season, there is no doubt that Jaguar did need a paying driver. This effectively ruled Justin Wilson out of contention to retain his drive.

The deal has consigned Alex Wurz to return for a fourth season as test driver with McLaren. Wurz, highly-rated and with some level of F1 experience, did have talks with Jaguar about the drive.

Red Bull has only committed to pay Klien's way for 2004. Its logos will not appear on the Jaguar car itself, and nor will its sponsorship of Sauber be affected.

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