Klien taking nothing for granted 17 Nov 2004
Former Jaguar driver Christian Klien insists that a race seat at Red Bull Racing is far from guaranteed, despite his close association with the teams new owners.
Klien is a member of the Red Bull Junior Team and backing from the energy drinks company played an important role in the young Austrian making his way into Formula One racing with Jaguar.
With Red Bull now having bought the team, keeping Klien on may seem an obvious choice given his experience with the car. However, competition for a drive will be stiff, not least from certain fellow Junior Team members, and Klien is making no assumptions.
"I am very happy with the current development and am very glad Red Bull took this decision, he told the Junior Teams website. For my personal future it is still too early to say something definite though, since my future has never been and is not linked to Red Bull buying Jaguar.
Klien admitted that his chances of staying in Formula One racing look far better now that the Red Bull deal has been confirmed, but added: Dietrich Mateschitz did not buy Jaguar so that I have a seat in a Formula One car next year.
Klien plans to enter into negotiations with Red Bull Racing management as soon as possible and is hoping for an early decision. There will be Formula One tests from November 24 in Barcelona and then I of course hope to know a lot more about my future, he added.
Among the other men on the Red Bull Junior team are Federico Montoya, brother of Juan Pablo, Mathias Lauda, son of three-time world champion Niki, occasional Minardi tester Norbert Siedler and Indian Formula One hopeful Narain Karthikeyan, who has previously tested with Jaguar.
The Red Bull man likely to be the strongest contender for a seat, however, is Vitantonio Liuzzi. The Italian tested for Sauber in September, having just won the 2004, and final, FIA International Formula 3000 series in some style.