Klien: F1 deals tougher than ever

Christian Klien says he is working on staying in Formula 1 next season, but it is harder than ever for a driver to secure a seat

Klien: F1 deals tougher than ever

The 27-year-old Austrian raced in three grands prix of the season with HRT and says the team is his most likely destination for 2011.

"In my case there are still a few options and HRT is the obvious one," Klien said. "Driving those three races was the best test run I could get for 2011.

"The team is on the brink of becoming a serious contender in Formula 1, despite a few setbacks here and there. But things have looked worse in the past. There is still some time until March. My clear goal is to drive in all 20 races next season."

But Klien says it will be difficult to land a full-time drive in Formula 1 without substantial financial backing.

"There are no guarantees, as we have seen with Nico Hulkenberg recently," Klien added. "He drove an excellent rookie season, pole position in Brazil and still he gets the push.

"It has never been easy to get a drive. Some time ago your best chance was when you were British, French or Italian. Nowadays drivers are coming in from all areas of the world: Russia, India, South East Asia, soon probably Korea and China. So it is pretty obvious that chances are mathematically lower these days.

"Whoever has a government or an oil company from a rising country behind him has the best chance to be on the grid in 2011.

"The economic factor has become increasingly important in the past two years. Even big names like Kimi Raikkonen in rallying need partners to secure their drive."

Klien hopes that teams will value performance in the constructors' championship above selling their seats to the highest bidder.

"The whole equation looks a little different when your pay driver crashes a lot and eventually fails to bring home valuable points," he said. "Every point is vital for the constructors' championship.

"There is a lot of financial pressure on the teams. The only solution to the problem is to make Formula 1 significantly cheaper, as has been discussed so many times."

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