Having started the season with a car that was yet to turn a wheel in anger the Hispania team is expanding its operation, with the addition of another driver to their ranks.
Ahead of their first home grand prix the Spanish-based team have confirmed former Jaguar and Red Bull man Christian Klien as their test and reserve driver for the rest of the season. The Austrian will compete in first practice for the team beginning with this Friday’s session at the Circuit de Catalunya, and Klien reckons this is a positive development in his career:
“I am thrilled to be joining Hispania Racing. This role offers me the opportunity to rejoin the Formula One environment and drive again, which is naturally where my longer-term ambitions lie. At only 27 with six seasons of F1 under my belt I am sure I can bring a lot of experience and enthusiasm to the team“.
At the last race in China Hispania announced that ex-Super Aguri and Spyker driver Sakon Yammaoto would join them in a test and reserve role, though what part the Japanese racer has to play now the more experienced Klien is on board is unclear.
One thing is for sure: with two inexperienced drivers in the race seats the addition of Klien is a step forward for Hispania. As well as his race experience Klien has clocked up thousands of miles of testing for both Honda and BMW, and so knows his way around the development side of a Formula One car. Whilst race drivers Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna have being doing a solid job both have very limited F1 experience, and with a car that did no testing this was always going to cause problems.
Hispania will be hoping that the addition of Klien can push them forward in their attempts to catch fellow new teams Lotus and Virgin Racing as the Formula One circus returns to Europe.