Former F1 driver Christian Klien is starting his year by finally completing his compulsory military service in his native Austria. Now 33, it is over a decade ago that the former Jaguar, Red Bull and HRT driver began his F1 career by deferring his service, which is compulsory in Austria.
"I was just about to come into F1 with Jaguar, but the army was really cooperative about it," Klien, now a GT3 driver and F1 pundit, told Speed Week. "Now I am fulfilling my obligation, even though I have lived abroad for ten years," he said. "Even my friend Kimi Raikkonen had to do his service in Finland, and obviously it didn't hurt him," Klien smiled.
On F1 matters, Klien said he is looking forward to being in the paddock for Austrian television in 2017, and seeing how the drivers fare with the quicker cars. "For sure 2017 will be physically harder for everyone because of the wider tyres and the new aerodynamics," he said.
"Maybe they'll have to work as hard as we did in the mid 2000s. No matter who you ask - Alonso, Webber - they all say they were physically at the limit. For me this was normal. I knew nothing else," added Klien. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing