Christian Klien has been linked to an F1 comeback in 2010, possibly with one of the sport's three newcomers – but there are even whispers the Austrian could be handed his return with BMW-Sauber before the current campaign is out.
Klien last raced at the highest level back three years ago, with stints for Jaguar and Red Bull Racing from 2004 to 2006 that yielded a best finish of fifth place in the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai for the latter. Following a season spent testing for Honda (now Brawn GP), the man from Hohenems moved to BMW-Sauber in 2008, where he has remained ever since.
Though still only 26, Klien has a wealth of experience in the top flight – an attribute he reckons could make him attractive to USF1, Campos and Manor, all of whom are set to make their bow in F1 in 2010. He insists, however, that remaining at BMW – should the team find a saviour to retain its spot on the starting grid – is his firm priority.
With rumours persisting that Fernando Alonso could yet make an early switch to Ferrari in place of the recovering Felipe Massa in the upcoming races – thereby freeing up a place at Renault for Robert Kubica, widely believed to be the Régie's
number one target for 2010 – Klien's services could yet be called upon by the Munich and Hinwil-based outfit, which has endured a torrid ride in 2009 to-date but has vowed to continue pushing until the last.
“That would be speculation at the moment,” urged the sometime Peugeot sportscar racer, speaking to Austrian media, “because the overall situation is unclear. What I can contribute at the moment is for me to maintain maximum physical fitness, because the Ferrari example shows how quickly things can change.
“There have been enquiries during this season. The new teams are naturally interested in drivers with experience, but anyway this team (BMW-Sauber) remains my first choice. With all the human capital and infrastructure at Hinwil, I see no reason why we can't build a successful car for 2010.”