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Is Singapore Klien's last chance?

NEWS STORY
24/09/2010

Mat Coch writes:

The Singapore Grand Prix could be Christian Klien's last, if the Austrian fails to impress enough to land a race seat for 2011. Stepping into the Hispania car at the expense of Sakon Yamamoto, who was forced out of the weekend with food poisoning, Klien believes the clock is ticking on his career, and he needs to land a full time drive soon if his future is to remain in Formula One.

"For next year I wouldn't do any more test/reserve driver," Klien revealed. "You're just reserve, there's no testing, nothing anymore."

Since racing to eleventh place in the 2006 Italian Grand Prix Klien has been a test or reserve driver for Honda, Sauber and, his current role, with Hispania ever since. "I raced the last two years in Le Mans and prototypes and those kind of things," he says, "but actually no Formula One races. I did forty laps so far, before this race. I did forty laps in this car.

"Some Friday tests were good, but it was not enough, two are not enough," he continues, referring to his Friday morning outings in Barcelona and Valencia. "A race weekend is obviously much better; you get a lot more mileage, people can see what you can do."

The Singapore weekend could therefore be a watershed moment in Klien's career. Failure to perform would likely end his Formula One career, the Austrian admitting he would be forced to turn his attention to other types of racing.

"For sure there's a point where I have to decide; go to endurance racing or touring cars," he admits. "As I'm 27 I still feel young enough to do that."

It won't be a decision taken lightly however, as Klien realises that, once he walks away from Formula One, the door will most likely close behind him. "Once you have a roof on top of you it's over, you have to go that route. We have to see. What's for sure now is I'm pushing for Formula One."

The Austrian finished the opening day of practice at the bottom of the timing sheets, almost a second slower than teammate Bruno Senna.

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