Christian Klien is to test for Spyker this week, fuelling rumours the Austrian will be parachuted into Christijan Albers' seat at the Silverstone-based squad for the N?rburgring in a week-and-a-half's time.

The 24-year-old will take to the wheel of the F8-VII during the group test at Spa-Francorchamps tomorrow (Thursday, 12 July), and though team principal Colin Kolles insisted nothing could be read into the test, many see it as a simple prelude to Klien taking over the drive for the remainder of the 2007 campaign.

"We are very grateful to the Honda Racing F1 Team for releasing Christian at such short notice to drive for the final day of our three-day test at Spa," the German said. "There are many elements to be considered before we can make our final decision on drivers and we will carefully evaluate all the options over the coming days before making any announcement regarding the European Grand Prix and beyond."

"I am very happy to have been invited to test for Spyker in Spa - one of my favourite tracks - and to have the opportunity to work with a team which is determined to make progress this season," former Red Bull Racing star and current Honda test and reserve driver Klien added. "I would like to thank Spyker for this opportunity and also the Honda Racing F1 Team for its help and support in permitting me to test for another team on this occasion."

Honda said it had given its blessing to the test, at the same time suggesting it would be equally happy to release Klien from his contract to race for Spyker over the second half of 2007 should an offer be made.

"Christian has had limited time in the car this year as a result of the testing regulations," explained sporting director Gil de Ferran. "This test with Spyker could lead to him returning to a race seat and those opportunities do not come along often. As we have demonstrated on previous occasions, Honda will do whatever is possible to help our young drivers to further their careers and keep moving forward."

 

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