Klien and Liuzzi vie for Coulthard partner role

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The Independent Online

Afer all the pre-Christmas prevarication, Red Bull Racing have announced that both Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi have been signed to drive for the team this season alongside team leader David Coulthard.

It is not yet clear which of them will get the second race seat and which will be the Friday test driver. Klien has a year's experience after running alongside Mark Webber when the team was Jaguar racing last year, and he cannot be test driver because of the rule that says no driver who has competed in six or more races in the previous two years can conduct Friday test duties at races.

However, when Liuzzi, the reigning Formula 3000 champion, first tested for the team in December last year, he was faster than Klien.

It is thought that, in order to appease the nationalistic Austrian press, Klien will do the first few races with Liuzzi as test driver, but that the Italian will take over the racing role from the European season onwards.

It appears that Red Bull Racing will keep testing with both drivers all the way through January and February before making a final decision on Coulthard's partner in time for the opening race in Melbourne in early March.