DRIVERS: CHRISTIAN KLIEN

Name: Christian Klien
Nationality: Austria
Date of birth: February 2, 1983 - Hohenems, Austria

Christian Klien, Australian GP 2005

Christian Klien, Australian GP 2005 

 © The Cahier Archive

Klien started racing in karts when he was 13, winning races in Switzerland and Austria, as his home town of Hohenems was located right on the border between the two countries. During that time he became a qualified sheet metal worker. When he was 16 he moved into racing in the Formula BMW ADAC Junior Cup and in the Spring of 1999 won his first races. He finished fourth overall in the series and in 2000 moved to the main Formula BMW series with Team Rosberg. It was a solid year but it was not until 2001 that he began winning, scoring five victories and ending up third in the series. At the end of the year he joined JD Motorsport for the Italian winter Formula Renault series and won one event. That led to a drive with JD in 2002 in German Formula Renault. He won four times and took the German title, while also finishing fifth in the European series.

In 2003 he joined Mucke Motorsport for the Formula 3 Euroseries. He won four of the races and finished runner-up in the title to Ryan Briscoe and added an important win in the Marlboro Masters at Zandvoort. With support from Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz he was able to land a job as the second driver at Jaguar Racing in 2004. He had a poor year but was fortunate that Mateschitz bought the team and kept him on as second driver at the start of 2005. He had to share the drive early in the year with Tonio Liuzzi but this arrangement made little sense and the Austrians decided to give Klien the opportunity and did a good enough job to land the second seat at Red Bull Racing for 2006. He was outclassed rather too often by veteran David Coulthard and was dropped for 2007. The decision was taken at Monza in September and Klien opted to leave immediately and talked his way into a test drive at Honda Racing F1.

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