Christian Klien is the kind of sportsman who prefers the direct route. Detours are simply not in his blood. Just like in 1991 when he visited the Formula One race in Hockenheim at the age of eight and ran straight into the arms of his idol Ayrton Senna (see image left). Today, although only 26 years of age he is considered an experienced Formula One professional by fans and experts alike. No wonder when you look at his curriculum: At 20 he got his first F1 test, at 21 he gave his debut at the Australian GP in Melbourne 2004. Between then and now there were three years of racing and three full years as a test and reserve driver in big works operations. He does not beat around the bush when asked about his future goals in a shaky environment in Formula One in 2010: 'I will keep pushing 100 percent to earn myself a full drive in F1 again. At the end of the day the job of a racing driver has got something to do with driving races.' After signing for HRT F1 Team, Hispania Racing as test and reserve driver in 2010, Christian seems to have moved one step closer to his ultimate goal in F1.

According to the official tally, Klien has driven 49 grand prix races (or 51- including Bahrain 2005 when his car failed at the pre-start and Indianapolis 2005, when like most of the field he had to turn off into the pit lane with tyre problems after the formation lap). His climb into F1 was meteoric. After an apprenticeship in Formula BMW, at 19 he had his rookie season in the Formula 3 Euro Series where - as in all the other junior formula series - he was soon winning race after race. Victory at the prestigious Marlboro Masters in Zandvoort helped secure Christian a place in Formula One when he was barely out of his teens - the first among his old sparring partners from Formula Renault and Formula 3 days, like Rosberg, Hamilton, Kubica, Piquet and Glock.

One year at Jaguar and two years at Red Bull Racing were marked by mixed success: high speed, raw talent and race intelligence were the positives. Still the midfield of the pack was as good as it usually got, due to a lack of experience - particularly when compared to his team mates Mark Webber and David Coulthard - and a mediocre car at best. This does not count in the few highlights like the Monaco Grand Prix when a technical failure stopped Christian en route to a podium finish. From 2007 on Christian experience has been sought after by big manufacturers, first at Honda and since 2008 at the BMW Sauber F1 Team where he was fully integrated and always ready to take over as a replacement driver. On his free weekends Christian is still keeping his hand in as a bona fide race driver - in endurance racing. In 2008 he made his debut in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours. He led the field and picked up a podium place straightaway. In 2010 Christian's return to the F1 grid led from two Friday tests in Barcelona and Valencia to replacing Sakon Yamamoto as a race driver at the magnificent Singapore Grand Prix.

After having competed in three Grands Prix in 2010 Aston Martin Racing signed Christian Klien in 2011 as works driver for their prototype program in the Le Mans Series.

 

 

 

Born
7th February 1983/Hohenems (A)
Nationality
Austrian
Residence Diepoldsau (CH)
Marital status Single
Height 1,68 m
Weight 69 kg
Hobbies Skiing, ice hockey, mountain biking
Favourite food Italian cuisine
Favourite drink Elderberry juice
Favourite circuit
Monaco and Spa

 

 

CAREER-HIGHLIGHTS

   
First race 1995, kart race in Osogna (Ticino), Liechtenstein Kart Championship
   
1996-1998 Karting successes in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Italy
First win at Swiss Kart Championship in 1996 (Locarno)
Swiss Champion in the Mini 60 cc category
   
1999

Debut season in Formula racing,
first Formula win on the Sachsenring;
4th place Formula BMW Junior Cup, four wins

   
2000 10th place Formula BMW ADAC,
3rd place rookie rankings
   
2001 3rd place Formula BMW Germany, five wins
   
2002

1st place German Formula Renault 2000, five wins,
13 podiums, five pole positions;
5th place Formula Renault Eurocup and best rookie;
3rd place Formula Renault Wintercup Italia

   
2003

2nd place Formula 3 Euro Series, Rookie of the Year,
four wins, six pole positions;
winner of the Marlboro Masters in Zandvoort

   
2004 16th place Formula One World Championship
(Jaguar Racing – team mate Mark Webber)
   
2005 15th place Formula One World Championship
(Red Bull Racing – team mate David Coulthard, shared race seat with Vitantonio Liuzzi)
   
2006 18th place Formula One World Championship
(Red Bull Racing – team mate David Coulthard)
   
2007 Formula One test and reserve driver (Honda Racing)
additional testing for Spyker and Force India
   
2008

Formula One test and reserve driver (BMW Sauber F1 Team)
Works driver Le mans Series (Peugeot 908)
3rd place 24 Hours of Le Mans (Peugeot 908),
2nd place Petit Le Mans in Road Atlanta (Peugeot 908)

   
2009 Formula One test and reserve driver (BMW Sauber F1 Team)
Works driver Le Mans Series (Peugeot 908)
1st place 1,000 km race of Spa-Francorchamps
6th place 24 hours of Le Mans / Fastest Lap
   
2010 Works driver Le Mans Series (Peugeot 908)
Formula One test and reserve driver (HRT F1 Team, Hispania Racing)
Race driver at Singapore, Brazilian and Abu Dhabi GP
   
2011 Works driver Le Mans Series (Aston Martin AMR-One)

 


 

FORMULA 1 STATISTICS  
   
First grand prix Australian GP, Melbourne, 2004
   
GP starts 49 (+2x DNS)
   
Best placing
5th (Chinese GP 2005)
   
World Championship points 14
2004: 3
2005: 9
2006: 2
2010: 0