Christian Danner was born in Munich, Germany, the son of well-known car safety expert Max Danner. Christian started motor racing in 1977 competing in the German and European Renault 5 cup, finishing second overall in German championship.
In 1980, after three years in Renauts, he raced for Cassani Racing in the German Group 4 series as well as the BMW M1 Procar Series. Spotted by BMW Motorsport chief, Dieter Stappert, he was signed to drive for the works March Team in 1981. He also drove for the works BWM team in German Touring Car Championship that year. He continued with March and BMW in 1982 before switching to the March-Onyx team in 1983. He set the F2 lap record for the Nürburgring that year.
When BMW pulled out of F2 at the end of the year, Danner was without a single seater drive. However he managed to get a budget together and joined Bob Sparshott for 1984. He finished fourth in the European F2 series that year and stayed with Sparshott in 1985 when the team moved into F3000.
He took the European F3000 title that year and set a points record that still stands today. He raced a Volvo in European Touring Car Championship and started two F1 events for Zakspeed turbo team.
He entered F1 ranks full time in 1986, driving for Osella-Alfa and Arrows BMW scoring his first F1 point with a sixth place finish at Austria in the Arrows. He also competed in the Le Mans 24 Hour race driving for Sauber-Mercedes team and continued in Touring Cars with BMW.
In 1987 he signed to drive for Zakspeed in F1 but failed to score any points and switched to being thier test driver in 1988. In Touring Cars he scored two wins in German Championships driving for the Alpina team.
He returned to a race seat in F1 in 1989 with the Rial-Ford F1 team, scoring three points for a fourth at the US Grand Prix in Phoenix, his best F1 result.
With limited options in F1 he signed as a test driver for Reynard-Mugen F1 team. He competed in the Japanese Formula 3000 championship with Leyton House team in 1990, finishing third at Fuji, and continued to drive for BMW in the German Touring Car Championship, finishing second in the 24 hour race at Spa.
He concentrated on Touring Cars in 1991 taking the German title for BMW.
For 1992 he stayed in Touring Cars with BMW M3 winning at Spa, Belgium and the Nurburgring. Made also made his first IndyCar start at Detroit with Antonio Ferrari and Euromotorsport Racing. In seven 1992 starts best finish was thirteenth at Nazareth.
Made three starts with Euromotorsport in 1993 in Indycars scoring his first points with an eleventh place at Elkhart Lake. He also took a win to finish fifth overall driving an Alfa Romeo in German Touring Car championship
In 1994 he started two races for Project Indy finishing twelfth at Detroit and Road America.
He took part in Grand Prix Masters Series, scoring second in the second race and is also an F1 commentator for the channel RTL in Germany.