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Klien '8000 kilometers’ from F1 now
(GMM)  Christian Klien managed a joke on Thursday as he denied he is now a million miles from the world of formula one.

"8,000 kilometers," said the former Red Bull driver, speaking to the APA news agency from his home in Switzerland and referring to the approximate distance to Singapore.

A year ago, the Austrian had returned to F1 with the struggling Spanish team HRT, where he out-qualified Bruno Senna two out of three times.

"That's some validation," he insisted.  "Two thirds of the time I was faster than him."

But it was Brazilian Senna who moved on this year with Renault, while Klien plans to be either in sports car or the DTM championship in 2012.  "There is some contact," he revealed.

Regarding F1, Klien, 28, suggested his lack of sponsorship is the problem.

"Formula one at the moment is very, very difficult.  If you don't have the budget, you are just watching.  The situation will be no different next year."

For now, he can only applaud his former team Red Bull, who with Sebastian Vettel are on the verge of sewing up the 2011 title.

"As world champion he has an incredible self confidence now," said Klien.  "He has developed so much from last year, not repeating any of his errors of the past."

As for Red Bull, "What they have built up in a short time is impressive", said the Austrian, who drove for the team in 2005 and 2006.

"At the moment they are the best but it might not stay the same, as there is now little scope for improvement."

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