JUNE 18, 2007

The future of Christian Klien

There were rumours in Indianapolis that Christian Klien may have signed a long term deal to drive for Toyota. Honda sources say that they have not been approached about releasing the young Austrian but confim that he is a free agent at the end of the current season.

The suggestion, coming from Austrian sources - which are not always 100% reliable - is that Klien could be the man who will replace Ralf Schumacher in the team next year, driving alongside Jarno Trulli.

There remains speculation about Schumacher's immediate future but the smart money in F1 circles remains on the German departing the team before the French Grand Prix, particularly in the light of his bizarre accident at the start of the United States Grand Prix. It is anticipated that the team's test driver Franck Montagny will take over for the rest of this year, beginning at his home race in France. Toyota has, however, been shopping around for a longer term solution.

Klien is young and experienced. A rare combination in F1 these days. He has competed in nearly 50 Grands Prix and is still only 24 years of age. he left Red Bull racing at the end of last year and joined Honda as a test driver but his intention was always to use that position to get back into racing.

We expect developments in the days ahead.