Christian Klien could be on the verge of linking up with Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton at McLaren-Mercedes as the Woking-based outfits new test and reserve driver for F1 2010.

According to reports by the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, the Austrian is one of the favourites to replace Pedro de la Rosa, who inked a deal with Sauber last month.

Although McLaren already have Gary Paffett on their books as a tester, the Englishman is staying in the DTM this season and team boss Martin Whitmarsh confirmed recently that they need another driver.

Klien, who made his F1 debut with Jaguar in 2004 and who raced for Red Bull Racing in 2005 and 2006, has competed in almost 50 grand's prix, notching up 14 points in total. He was the test and reserve driver for BMW Sauber in 2008 and 2009, having performed a similar role at Honda in 2007.

Speaking at the end of last month, Klien maintained that he still had 'a fair chance' to rejoin the grid this season and race - although he did admit that being a test and reserve driver does have some merit.

"The clear goal is to race. With all the test restrictions the job of a test pilot is not as attractive as it was some time ago. Still you have to weigh this option carefully. Last season, no fewer than five reserve drivers were called upon in ten teams to replace a racing driver. Statistically the job makes sense," he told his personal website.

"Still my plan is to go racing. That is top of the list. And I still see a fair chance to be on the grid in 2010."

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