Klien takes Yamamoto’s place at HRT

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Christian Klien, HRT, Valencia, 2010

Christian Klien will return to F1 action this weekend in place of Sakon Yamamoto at HRT.

Team principal Colin Kolles explained the reason for the 11th-hour change:

It looks as if Sakon Yamamoto has a food poisoning, and he doesn’t feel well. Because of this, Christian Klien will be driving the car this Friday and the rest of the Singapore Grand Prix. I hope Sakon gets well soon and is able to drive at his home Grand Prix in Japan.
Colin Kolles

However it may be significant that the team chose to put Klien, their other reserve driver, in the car instead of Karun Chandhok, who has started ten races for them this year.

Klien previously drove for the team in first practice for the Spanish and European Grands Prix. He will be the fourth driver to start a race for the team this year along with Yamamoto, Chandhok and Bruno Senna.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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43 comments on “Klien takes Yamamoto’s place at HRT”

  1. Would’ve preferred to see Chandhok back into his racing seat..

    1. Agree he have some experience in the car, I think they decided to choose him to see who can get the best of the car as they know they are improving anything from 12th.

  2. Seriously? Food poisoning?

    Is Karun Chandok going to get another run this year?

    1. Chandhok?

      Probably not.

      1. We all know what he meant.

        1. Was gutted not to see Chandhok now getting ‘his’ seat back. Easily the best HRT driver this year…

          1. He’s a great guy, but Senna outqualified him consistently, didn’t he?

          2. Senna outqualified him consistently, but Chandhok outraced Senna on more than one occasion, and was leading the theoretical “new teams drivers championship” when he was sidelined.

    2. Wonder if it was Indian Food? ;)

      1. Pretty sure it is!!!

        1. If so then that plan didn’t work out so well.

      2. hmm… not cool :( and can’t believe they don’t run karun but his sponsor.

      3. Hahh! That would have been awesome! Get Karun back in his car!

        1. Karun’s day in the HRT cockpit is over, he needs to find a seat for another team in 2011 very soon.

  3. Hurrah, about time he was given a chance, the only drive in the team with F1 experience is the last to have a go.

    I don’t understand why that team operates the way it does but I hope it doesn’t go on next year (if they are still there that is!).

    1. Actually, Sakon Yamamoto has experience before 2010 – he did seven for Super Aguri in 2006 and seven forr Spyker in 2007.

      The team works the way it does because of money. They need it, Yamamoto has it.

  4. Chandhocks results were actually pretty good, he’s consistent. I feel sorry for the guy to be honest.

    1. I agree I feel bad for Chandhock, hopefully he will be picked up by a more professional outfit next season.

      1. An Austraian replacing a Japanese (who replaced an India) in a Spanish team with a Brazilian team-mate and a Romanian-German team principal at the Singapore Grand Prix … if nothing else, Hispania are a truly multi-national effort.

        1. Don’t forget the english engine manufacturer and the italian designer. A truely multi-national mix up.

  5. I feel sorry for Chandok, because I really like him….. But I think Klien will show that the HRT is slightly faster than we all thought… And it’s about time they used him!

  6. first they milked Karun, then Yakon, now Christian…

    1. Actually, Klien isn’t paying – Yamamoto is sick. Hispania are obligated to run a second driver; the only way out is if a driver is injured in qualifying because in order to race, a driver must first qualify.

      1. How do you know he isn’t paying?

        1. Um, because who else are they going to put in the car? Karun Chandhok isn’t in Singapore.

          1. Karun Chandhok is in Singapore, you can read his comments on the race here:


            However he’s signed up as a commentator, maybe he’s decided he’s got a better chance for next season by getting his face and voice known to the public before the Indian grand prix

          2. I find it hard to believe that, with Ecclestone on his side, Chandhok won’t be in an F1 car in the year of the first Indian Grand Prix.

          3. Yep Chandhok is in Singapore. I don’t know with Hispania. Theres more questions than answers with that team.

          4. Chandok was in the paddock today wearing a HRT shirt. Really nice guy!

  7. Yeah, I like Chandok too… Last season he was the only sensible and knowledgeable voice on the Star Sports F1 feed that we get in Asia.

    1. He’s on again this weekend according to Twitter. Was on BBC today tho

  8. alright F1fanatics, own up, which of you sent Sakon the dodgy Food Hamper?

    1. i lol’d ;)

      sushi is dangerous food!

  9. Klien might be of slightly more use than Yamamoto, but I’m not holding out hope for much else.

  10. Does Sakon actually bring in money? Does anyone know of any Japanese HRT sponsers?
    Hard to fathom that Sakon has yen behind him and Kamui doesn’t!

  11. Just thought I’d add my sentiment for Chandhok. Lovely guy, good driver, unfortunate circumstances. He deserves better.

  12. It’s good to see that HRT provides chances for many drivers to drive, not sure if this is giving the trust a driver may need…

  13. This from Adam Cooper on Twitter:

    Sakon didn’t reply to my ‘get well soon’ SMS but a Japanese colleague says he’s in his hotel room and – allegedly – fully fit…

    1. Very interesting indeed. The way that team operates is very peculiar. Maybe Epsilon or Villeneuve will take over for next year and there won’t be so many antics.

      Also, Will Buxton had the best tweet on the matter:

      An HRT press release is being handed out. What’s it going to be? Another new driver? Team been sold to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

  14. I think it’s definitely not a premeditated change though. The sidepods of Klein’s car were bare for FP1 – they only added “Christian” on the side in time for FP2.

    1. actually, bruno’s car was bare too in fp1.

  15. Looks like HRT is playing musical drivers again. If Yamamoto is “sick”, why is Karun not back in *his* seat?

  16. That is the best driving change occurred this year. I liked it they they replaced him, not sure why Karun who was in Singapore & still HRT paid driver wasn’t given a chance as he have more experience with the car then Kilen.

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