Spyker: Klien in, Monteiro or Albers out?

UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. Following his Red Bull exit, Christian Klien could emerge in a Spyker-Midland car as soon as next month's Chinese GP.

It is reported that the 23-year-old Austrian is moving rapidly towards a deal to become the Dutch-Russian team's 'Friday' tester for the remaining three races of 2006.

Then, for next season, he is atop the list to race for Silverstone-based Spyker full time, probably as a teammate for Holland's continuing Christijan Albers.

''Before he separated from Red Bull, Klien was already on our list,'' Midland principal Colin Kolles was quoted as saying by Austrian broadcaster Oesterreichischer Rundfunk.

He added: ''Now that he is released, we are trying to get him into the third car as soon as possible.'' We have updated our 2007 F1 Silly Season Page above.

09/10/06 (GMM) Dumped Red Bull driver Christian Klien is in the running to land a race seat at the newly sold and renamed 'Spyker MF1 Racing' team, according to reports.

With Klien having rejected Red Bull's offer of a funded Champ Car ride for 2007, it is suggested that Spyker principal Colin Kolles now counts the 23-year-old Austrian as on the short list for next year.

''Even before the takeover Klien was a candidate,'' Kolles was quoted as saying by 'APA'.

''I have known him for a long time. He is a very good driver.''

There is a question mark at present over whether energy drink Red Bull is going to continue to back Klien, particularly if he is racing for a rival team, but Kolles suggested that money is not everything.

''It is good if a driver can bring sponsorship,'' he said. ''But it is not mandatory.''

If Klien lands a seat, which we doubt, that means that one of the existing MF1 Racing drivers, Tiago Monteiro or Christijan Albers, will be out of a ride. Monteiro is a former Champ Car driver, so he could return to that series should he lose his F1 ride. However, Monteiro brings money to the team and Klien does not (he has lost Red Bull's backing), so even though Kolles says it is not mandatory for Klien to bring money, you know it will influence the decision. Monteiro is a good driver, certainly every bit as good as Klien, if not better. Klien is highly overrated, having been beat by old man Coulthard who is almost old enough to be Klien's father.

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