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Klien, Liuzzi to test for Force India
November 11, 2007 10:48 IST
Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi and Austrian Christian Klien will press their claims for a return to the Formula One starting grid when they test for Force India in Spain next week.
The Indian-owned team, formerly Spyker, said in a statement on Saturday that the two racers would join German driver Adrian Sutil at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on November 14 and 15.
Dutch test driver Giedo van der Garde and young Spaniard Roldan Rodriguez will open the test for the Ferrari-powered team on November 13.
Liuzzi raced for Red Bull in 2005 before switching to sister team Toro Rosso for the past two seasons. The Italian has been replaced by France's [Images] quadruple ChampCar champion Sebastian Bourdais for 2008.
The 26-year-old Italian, who won the 2004 F3000 championship, had hoped to find a home at Williams but that door was closed when they confirmed Japanese rookie Kazuki Nakajima this week.
Klien, 24, competed for Jaguar in 2004 and Red Bull for the following two seasons.
The Austrian has been Honda's test and reserve driver this season but he said in a separate statement that he had reached an agreement with the Japanese team to be allowed to look elsewhere for a race seat.
"Naturally I am concentrating on racing, that comes first," he said.
"Considering the way in which younger drivers have performed in this year's Formula One world championship, including those whom I have raced against and beaten in lower formulae, I am very happy with the interest being shown in me."
Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya [Images], who took control of the struggling Spyker team in October with Dutch entrepreneur Michiel Mol, said last month that he wants to retain Germany's [Images] Sutil.
He added however that the Silverstone-based team, who scored just one point this year and finished 10th overall, also need experience.
"We need a driver of some calibre to also improve the performance of the team, we can't have rookies only," he said. "For better performance, I need a proven driver."
Mallya said Spyker had signed a contract with 22-year-old Rodriguez, who competed in the GP2 support series this year, before the sale of the team but the Spaniard had yet to obtain the mandatory super licence.
"He is coming up with significant sponsor money but he must get a super licence first," he added.
While Force India will be assessing European drivers, India's Karun Chandhok will also be in Barcelona to test with Red Bull Racing.
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