BMW Sauber test driver Christian Klien has not given up hope of returning to the Formula 1 grid in 2010 as the future of the team hangs in the balance. The Austrian’s last F1 race was at the 2006 Italian Grand Prix for Red Bull but, with a possibility that the Qadbak-owned squad could be granted a place in the field being up in the air, he has no choice but to remain optimistic.
He made his F1 debut with Jaguar in 2004 and was retained through to 2006 courtesy of his Red Bull backing when the drinks giant bought out the team. After being sacked after the 2006 Italian GP and replaced by Robert Doornbos, he moved to a test role with Honda and has been BMW Sauber’s test driver since 2008.
"The starting point for driving placements is unique this winter," Christian explained to Germany’s Motorsport-Total.com. "It’s in complete upheaval."
"I would have expected to be one of their race drivers," he admitted, with the FIA still needing to grant permission for a 13th entry. "The entire team at Hinwil, however, is working with full commitment towards the production of next year’s car. It is clear that important decisions, such as team sponsors and driver line-up, will only be released once a place is confirmed.
"I estimate that there is a realistic chance that the traditional Sauber team from Hinwil will be on the Bahrain 2010 grid."
Hopefully Christian will be there too. At least, if anything, to satisfy the bevy of female F1 fans!