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Ecclestone back Klien return.

Bernie Ecclestone has claimed that Christia Klien deserves a shot at the second Sauber seat in 2010.

Bernie Ecclestone has apparently lent his support to Christian Klien landing a seat in Formula One next season, despite the Austrian having been out of the grand prix limelight for the past three seasons.

While his comments, given to Austrian broadcaster ORF while skiing in Klien's home region of Vorarlberg, have been treated lightly, Ecclestone claimed that he had always been a supporter of the former Jaguar and Red Bull racer, who has been handling test driver duties for Honda and BMW Sauber since his last grand prix in 2006. BMW Sauber is due to revert to its previous guise under the guidance of Peter Sauber at the start of 2010, and Ecclestone believes that it would be a natural progression for Klien to be elevated to the remaining race seat at Hinwil alongside recently-signed Kamui Kobayashi.

"If Christian gets the Sauber cockpit, it would be great," he told reporters during a break in his vacation at former Olympic downhill champion Egon Zimmermann abode in Lech am Arlberg, "I have always supported Christian, and it would definitely be a good team for him."

Still only 26, Klien has kept his hand in by racing for Peugeot's sports prototype team, but recently confirmed that he was delaying the signing of an extension to that deal in the hope that he could cement a return to F1. While his candidature for the second Sauber seat has been relatively low-key, others - including current BMW Sauber pilot Nick Heidfeld and former Sauber favourite Giancarlo Fisichella - have been listed ahead of him.

Klien's 48 grands prix appearances with Jaguar and Red Bull yielded just 14 points prior to a parting of the ways after the 2006 Italian GP, with a best finish of fifth in the 2005 Chinese GP. He had previously been linked to one of the seats at Lotus - which ultimately went to Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen - but always believed that is best option was to be promoted within the BMW Sauber operation.

“Had BMW Sauber signed in for 2010, I would most likely have been guaranteed a race seat,” he revealed last month, “I was approached by several teams concerning a race drive during the season. The new teams are interested in drivers with F1 experience to speed up the development of their car. In the meantime, I have had a close look at everyone's progress and I have also checked with their engine partner Cosworth. The first season is going to be very tough for the new teams, but some definitely have the potential to go far in F1."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Christian Klien (AUT) BMW Sauber, Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, Sepang, Kuala Lumpar, 21st-23rd, March 2008
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Roger Federer (SUI) tennis player and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05 and Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
27.11.2016 - Race, Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
27.11.2016 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
27.11.2016 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
27.11.2016 - Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM
27.11.2016 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31

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107SS2009

December 29, 2009 7:01 PM

It seems like BE is either competing with HannaH on driver’s likings or old age is catching up with him, two days ago he was putting money on MS for the title, today he is reported to be backing SV.



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