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DATE News (chronologically)
04/12/10
f1
HRT boss to pay Friday driver UPDATE (GMM)  Christian Klien will travel to Shanghai this week for the Chinese grand prix. For the first time since entering F1 with Jaguar in 2004, the 27-year-old is no longer a regular in the formula one paddock.

After losing his Red Bull race seat, Klien was test and reserve driver with Honda and then BMW, but his only official role this year is as Peugeot's Le Mans reserve driver.

This week, he will be testing for the French sports car marque in France, but will then fly to China to be trackside for round four of the F1 world championship.

It was reported late last week that HRT team boss Colin Kolles is looking to pay an experienced F1 driver to drive during Friday practice sessions, to help gauge the performance of the Dallara car as well as Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok.

Klien, as well as Ferrari reserve driver Giancarlo Fisichella, have been linked with the role.

The Austrian said he is still not able to commit to Peugeot as a race driver in 2010 "because of my involvement in formula one negotiations".

"Right after the (Peugeot) test I fly to Shanghai to keep in touch with the teams," Klien said on his official website.  "Sometimes it can turn around pretty quickly as we have seen.  And being at the race means taking a shortcut, which makes things easier sometimes," he added.

In Shanghai, Klien will also commentate for the Austrian broadcaster ORF, as regular expert Alex Wurz fulfils the role as the fourth steward this weekend.

04/09/10 (GMM)  HRT team boss Colin Kolles has admitted he might appoint a Friday driver.

Last month, we reported that Christian Klien and Giancarlo Fisichella were the leading candidates to drive during Friday free practice sessions for the new Spanish team.

It was rumored at the time that, with rookies Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok bringing sponsors to their race seats, Kolles was prepared to pay an experienced driver to help develop the Dallara-built car.

Having debuted in Bahrain with no prior testing, the Cosworth-powered F110 is currently the slowest of the three new teams, including Lotus and Virgin. zzzz

Kolles told Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport that appointing an "experienced driver" to drive on Fridays would also provide a benchmark to assess the performance of Senna and Chandhok.

He said currently it is impossible to "judge" the respectively Brazilian and Indian pair.

"So we will soon use an experienced driver on the Fridays in order to make comparisons," said the Romanian-born German.

Dr Kolles said the move will also help to pull the new team forwards.

"It sounds crazy, but we want to be the best new team.  I've brought Geoff Willis on board and he should be able to make the team a real constructor," he said.

"We will rent a wind tunnel and develop the car independently -- and move away from the GP2-level."

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