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Klien and Asmer join BMW Sauber as test drivers 04 Feb 2008

Christian Klien (AUT) Force India. Formula One Testing, Day One, Jerez, Spain, 04 December 2007. World © Patching/Sutton Marco Asmer (EST) BMW Sauber F1 and Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW Sauber F1.08 First test, Valencia, Spain, 15 January 2008. World © Patching/Sutton Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.08 Formula One Testing, Day One, Barcelona, Spain, 01 February 2008. World © Patching/Sutton Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.08 Formula One Testing, Day One, Barcelona, Spain, 01 February 2008. World © Bumstead/Sutton

BMW Sauber have announced that former Honda tester Christian Klien has been contracted as their test and reserve driver for the 2008 season. Klien will work alongside 23 year-old Marko Asmer who will become the team’s junior tester. The duo replace Timo Glock, who left BMW Sauber for a race drive with Toyota.

“We wanted a third driver with Formula One racing experience, as well as an up-and-coming young driver for us to train up to Formula One level,” explained BMW
Motorsport Director Mario Theissen. “With Christian we have signed on a driver who is familiar with the format of a Grand Prix weekend and can step into the breach right away should one of our team drivers have to back out.

“Marko has driven our car four times since 4th December and has made steady progress. He has worked in a concentrated, focused and calm fashion. The feedback from the engineers bears positive testimony to him, and the chemistry between him and the team is right as well.”

Klien began his Formula One career in 2004 with Jaguar before switching to Red Bull in 2005 and 2006. He joined Honda as test driver last season, carrying out development work in both the RA106 and RA107, as well as attending every round of the 2007 championship in his role as the Japanese team's reserve driver.

Asmer, meanwhile, has competed in Formula Three since 2004 and last season saw him win the British championship. He was invited to make his testing debut for BMW Sauber back in December 2007.

“I always hoped for an opportunity to get into Formula One,” he explained. “Naturally I did everything I could to avoid any mistakes and to do a good job. I learnt a lot while driving in the tests at Jerez and Valencia, but also as a spectator and observer. I was given a very friendly welcome and got on just fine. I feel good in the BMW Sauber F1 Team and I'm very grateful to be a part of it now.”

During 2008, Klien and Asmer will work alongside the German-Swiss squad’s race drivers Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld.