May 6 (GMM) Christian Klien is happy to be back with an official role in formula one, but he acknowledges that being a third driver at HRT is a “small step”.
Despite Sakon Yamamoto recently signing on in a similar capacity, the new Spanish team on Wednesday said 27-year-old Austrian Klien has been appointed as another test and reserve driver.
Austrian media reports quote him as saying: “I realise that it is only a small step to be third driver with a team at the back of the field.
“But it’s a step in the right direction,” added Klien.
The former Jaguar, Red Bull, Honda and BMW driver, as well as Japanese Yamamoto who has raced with Super Aguri and Spyker, have been referred to as ‘reserve driver’ by HRT.
Klien says it is “speculation” to assume that it will be him who is selected to replace Bruno Senna or Karun Chandhok should either of the race drivers be unable to drive.
“If one of them is unable to race, the FIA regulation is clear: the driver may be changed until Saturday before qualifying.”
A team spokeswoman, meanwhile, said it has not yet been decided whether it will be Senna or Chandhok making way for Klien on Friday morning.
“I’m not wasting any thoughts on it,” insisted Klien. “The team, led by Colin Kolles, will decide what is best for the team.”
The nomination must be made on Thursday before 4pm local.