Christian Klien ( born February 7, 1983 in Hohenems, Vorarlberg) is an Austrian race car driver. He launched between 2004 and 2010 in Formula 1 and was recently under contract with HRT.
- 3.1 Career stations
- 3.2 Statistics in Formula 1 3.2.1 Individual Results
Beginnings in motorsport
Before Klien has focused on motorsports, he tried several sports. At the age of eight he first came into contact with Formula 1 as he crept with his father through a hole in the fence into the Formula 1 paddock. Here he met the reigning world champion Ayrton Senna. After this encounter, he has focused on motorsports and began his career in 1995 in karting, where he was active until 1999.
In 1999, he also gave his debut in Formula racing and immediately became fourth in the Formula BMW Junior. In 2000 he moved to the German Formula BMW in which he competed for Team Rosberg. After he had occupied the tenth place in his first season, he was in 2001 when Team Rosberg and improved with five wins on third overall. In 2002 he moved to JD Motorsport and launched 2.0 Eurocup both in the German Formula Renault and Formula Renault. While he was ahead of Bruno Spengler won the championship title of the German Formula Renault with four wins, he finished sixth in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup.
In 2003 he was taken along with Winkelhock Mücke Motorsport for the newly formed Formula 3 Euro Series under contract. Klien won three races and competed with Ryan Briscoe for the title. In the end he was beaten by 110 to 89 points Briscoe and was runner-up. He also won the prestigious Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort before Nelson Piquet junior and was voted athlete of the year in Vorarlberg and the Austrian automotive athlete of the year.
End of November 2003 was allowed Klien complete with Townsend Bell for Jaguar Racing Formula 1 test drives. Here, the Austrians, the team won so much that they took him for the 2004 season as a teammate of Mark Webber under contract. The sponsors money from Red Bull, who sponsored Klien, is said to have not been the decisive factor, according to the team. The Austrians could not keep up with his team-mate at most races and achieved sixth place in the Grand Prix of Belgium points only once. At the end of the season, he finished 16th place.
After the 2004 season Dietrich Mateschitz took over the Jaguar team and called it in to Red Bull Racing. In addition to David Coulthard, who had been obliged by McLaren, Klien was 2005, the second cockpit, alternating with the Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, who won the 2004 International Formula 3000 championship take over. After Klien was allowed to complete the first three Grands Prix, he had to relinquish his cockpit for the next four races at Liuzzi. The rest of the race was allowed to complete all Klien. Overall, he was in two races, where he sat in the cockpit, do not start. By season's end the Austrians occupied with nine points to 15 overall.
2006 Klien kept the second cockpit alongside Coulthard. Bad luck Klien at the Grand Prix of Monaco, as a defect in fifth place finished his race. Since he could not keep up with his experienced teammates like last year, there have been rumors during the season that they wanted to appoint a new second cockpit at Red Bull Racing. For the Scuderia Toro Rosso, the sister team of Red Bull Racing, Klien was out of the question, according to the team. Finally, Klien was after team-internal differences already released three races left in the season of Red Bull and replaced by Robert Doornbos. The trigger for the separation was that Klien sent word via the television that he did not want to drive for Red Bull in the Champ Car Series.
Test driver in Formula 1 and debut in endurance racing
After it was initially speculated about an immediate change as a test driver for Midland F1 Racing, he was for the 2007 test driver for Formula 1 team from Honda. In this role, Klien could use pilot Jenson Button, who was sidelined due to muscle pain in the back, represented during practice for the Grand Prix of Great Britain.
After the dissolution of the contract of Albers at Spyker in July 2007 showed the Dutch team, as even before the season, when it was reported under the name Midland, interest in Klien. He was allowed to test the Spyker at Spa-Francorchamps in mid-July, but could not convince them to use it for the next race at the Nürburgring race drivers the team. Instead got the German Winkelhock, his former teammate from the Formula 3 Euro Series and until then test driver for the team, the cockpit for this race. For the rest of the season, the Japanese Sakon Yamamoto, who brought sponsorship was used.
In late November the Austrians was invited by Spyker successor team Force India to test drive to Barcelona. Along with several candidates to Klien competed with its test rounds for a regular place in the 2008 season. Here, the Austrians posted the fastest time of all the candidates, however, were driven on different days with different conditions. Ultimately, the Indian team decided against Klien Klien and for the Italian Giancarlo Fisichella as a regular driver for 2008. Himself was hired for the 2008 season as a test and reserve driver for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. In June 2008, Klien finished with Franck Montagny and Ricardo Zonta on a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP to third place in the 24- hour race at Le Mans. 2009 Klien remained as test driver for BMW Sauber and went again to the 24- hour race at Le Mans. This time he was with Nicolas Minassian and Pedro Lamy as a teammate on a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP sixth. In May 2009 he won together with his teammates Minassian and Simon Pagenaud, the 1000 km race at Spa -Francorchamps.
After the BMW Sauber F1 team was sold to Peter Sauber, Klien had at first no cockpit for the 2010 season. Since May 2010 Klien was next to Yamamoto first test and reserve driver at the Spanish Formula 1 team HRT. After his Japanese teammate already allowed to deny race and Klien had completed two free training, he competed at the Grand Prix of Singapore his first Formula 1 race since 2006. He jumped as a replacement driver because Yamamoto failed with food poisoning. Although he had little experience with the car, he was faster than his team-mate Bruno Senna immediately. In the race he fell out with technical problems. Three races later, at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Austrians returned for the final two races of the season to the HRT cockpit. At the end of the season, he finished 27th overall in the drivers' world championship.
Change in endurance racing
After Klien had not received a contract for the Formula 1 2011 season, he opted for a change in endurance racing, where he had begun serving concurrently with his Formula 1 test driver involvement. He launched now for Aston Martin Racing and drove there the newly developed Aston Martin AMR -One. The vehicle turned out to be error prone and as Klien could not finish the race in Le Mans. Therefore, Aston Martin joined the end of the season on the last year's car Lola - Aston Martin LMP1 he was driving at Silverstone with Adrian Fernandez and Harold Primat on the 6th rank.
2012 started Klien in the Superstars Series and won on his debut at the Hungaroring. In the autumn he received a contract with Supercheap Auto Racing team and starts at the endurance race in the V8 Supercar Series in Australia.
In spring 2006, Klien moved his residence from Hohenems in the neighboring Diepoldsau in Switzerland.