Rumours in the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad are pointing to former F1 pilot Christijan Albers joining the Hispania Racing Team as its third test and reserve driver.
The debutant team has already appointed the likes of former racers Christian Klien and Sakon Yamamoto to the role, with their duties being to attend the Grand Prix weekends and occasionally drive the car during Friday practice.
The 31-year-old drove for Minardi and Midland (pictured) in 2005 and 2006 respectively, staying on with the squad when it metamorphosed into the Spyker outfit in 2007, only to lose his seat midway through the season when his sponsorship fell through. Earning a reputation for petulance and not having the friendliest relationship with any of his team-mates, Albers’ best result was a fifth-placed finish at the farcical six-car United States Grand Prix in 2005.
This speculation seems to arise from his long relationship with HRT team
dentist boss Colin Kolles (who ran the Midland/Spyker operation during Albers’ appointment), and he has continued to represent the Romanian-born team owner in his Le Mans team, and also drove for Kolles in DTM prior to his F1 debut in 2005.
When asked to comment on the rumours, Albers certainly didn’t thwart the speculation at all, adding: “Last year there was a possibility [of being in F1], but there was no chance of driving, so that was useless.
“Colin knows how strong I am, especially technically. With all the teams for which I’ve driven, we have made progress.
”I am keeping trying and it might succeed with the help of my loyal sponsors. I have a partner that just might give that final push.
“But before I do something I like to be very well prepared," he concluded.
No doubt there will be more to come from this, but we shouldn’t be surprised if an announcement is made soon.
[Original image via The Cahier Archive]