Klien to be offered RBR contract

Red Bull Racing team owner Dietrich Mateschitz is expected to re-sign Christian Klien in 2005 and has ruled out David Coulthard as a possibility for a race drive with the team in an interview with a German newspaper last weekend

Klien to be offered RBR contract

"Coulthard is not part of our selection," Mateschitz told Bild am Sonntag.

The Scot's hopes would now appear to rest on the outcome of the Williams shoot-out between Anthony Davidson and Nick Heidfeld at the beginning of December, although the team's test driver Antonio Pizzonia is believed to remain favourite to land that drive.

Mateschitz, who has made a fortune from his Red Bull energy drink, admitted in the interview that Klien is likely to remain with RBR for 2005, having raced for the team last year when it was known as Jaguar Racing.

"We have offered Christian Klien a contract," said Mateschitz. "He deserves the chance to race for a second year."

With his Red Bull connections and Jaguar Racing history, Klien is an obvious choice for the revived team, but the young Austrian last week said that did not make him a dead cert for a drive.

"For my personal future it is still too early to say something definite though, since my future has never been, and is not, linked to Red Bull buying Jaguar," he said. "Dietrich Mateschitz did not buy Jaguar so that I have a seat in a Formula One car next year.

"There will be F1 tests from November 24th in Barcelona and then I hope to know a lot more about my future. My chances are better now, of course, than they were a couple of weeks ago, but still nothing is definite at this stage."

Klien is expected to be joined in this week's test in Spain by reigning International F3000 champion Vitantonio Liuzzi and his predecessor Bjorn Wirdheim (who was Jaguar's test driver in 2004).

F1's newest team owner also hinted that it is possible Red Bull Racing could switch to BMW power in the future, once the team's contractual commitment to Cosworth came to an end.

"There are good relations with Munich," he said. "Honda, Ferrari, BMW - I believe are all good manufacturers, and we will have the chance to get an engine. If we change, we want to go with the best one available."

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