NOVEMBER 26, 2003
Klien keen, Jaguar watches. Where is Jos?
Jaguar Racing is at Valencia looking not only at technical issues but also at who will drive for the team alongside Mark Webber in 2004. The candidates seem to be four in number, depending on who you listen to: Justin Wilson, Christian Klien, Jos Verstappen and Townsend Bell. It is no secret that the team would love to get the $15m that comes with Klien and he is keen to show that he has what it takes to make it in Formula 1. Bell is believed to be a possible compromise candidate as Red Bull is keen to be associated with an American and he has more experience in powerful cars that does Klien, having raced in CART and Formula 3000. Klien has done only one season of Formula 3 and is still only 20 years old. Klien however has been racing cars since 1998 when he did his first races in the Formula BMW Junior Cup. He spent 1999 and 2000 in the same series and in 2001tried his hand at Formula Renault, winning the German title. That opened the way for his Euroseries Formula 3 drive and he jumped at the chance, finishing runner-up to Ryan Briscoe in the hard-fought championship.
Jaguar Racing will not however be looking just for pure speed and it is likely that Klien will be tested out to see how sensitive he is to subtle changes made to the car.
There is some excitement in Holland suggesting that the drive will go to Verstappen, who has money available from a variety of sponsors if the Red Bull deal with Jaguar falls out of bed but the fact that he is not testing the car is significant.
Wilson is at the test to do the development work rather to try to impress people. The team knows his capabilities.
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