Kazuki Nakajima to make F1 race debut

Kazuki Nakajima, Montreal, Williams-Toyota, 2007 | LAT Photographic / Glenn DunbarKazuki Nakajima will take Alexander Wurz’s place at Williams for the final race of 2007 following the Austrian’s retirement.

Nakajima, 22, was the highest-placed rookie in F1′s feeder category GP2 this year. Driving for the DAMS team he ended the year fifth, and though he didn’t win a race he scored five consecutive podiums in the middle of the year.

He beat team mate Nicolas Lapierre, who was in the category for the third year.

He has also been Williams’ test driver this year, appearing on five occasions for the team as Friday driver and covering 7,000km of testing. He is backed by Toyota, whose engines Williams use.

Nakajima, 22, is the son of former F1 racer Satoru Nakajima, who drove for Lotus and Tyrrell in the 1980s and 1990s. He will join the likes of Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve as being a son of an F1 driver to race in the sport himself.

Satoru Nakajima drove in 80 Grands Prix with a best finish of fourth (twice) and one fastest lap.

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Photo: LAT Photographic / Glenn Dunbar

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10 comments on Kazuki Nakajima to make F1 race debut

  1. AndyJ said on 9th October 2007, 10:43

    I always liked Satoru, but i sincerely hope that Kazuki is a damn sight better than his old man!!

  2. oliver said on 9th October 2007, 11:08

    What u mean is that he has a better impact, because we cant compare then and now, entirely different conditions and equipment.

  3. oliver said on 9th October 2007, 11:09

    I meant have a better impact

  4. AndyJ said on 9th October 2007, 11:57

    I know what I mean, oliver….thank you very much!

  5. Robert Mckay said on 9th October 2007, 12:28

    I hope Williams are taking him on because they think he’s a prospect, not because he’s Toyota-backed and you can’t upset the applecart with your engine supplier. I don’t think he’s ready for F1 yet, but maybe he’ll prove me wrong.

  6. How the heck did Satoru get a fastest lap…?

  7. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th October 2007, 18:57

    It was the Australian Grand Prix in 1989 which was horrendously wet – like Fuji this year. He was driving the Lotus-Judd, which was a shocking car, but he nailed fastest lap.

    He was two-tenths faster than Riccardo Patrese, and the pair were a second and a half quicker than anyone else.

  8. Vertigo said on 9th October 2007, 19:44

    Robert McKay is right, I sense the mighty hand of Toyota in this appointment…

  9. Amazing. Funny how the tail ender cars often turn out to be quickest in wet conditions. Like the Toro Rossos in China… ;)

  10. verasaki said on 10th October 2007, 2:07

    I just like the name. I’m only assuming he’s related to the whole aircraft/Subaru thing? Anyone have any input on why none of the Japanese drivers have much success in F1? Or American open wheel for that matter?

    About a decade ago one of the US sport channels, Speed or ESPN, used to run some of the Japanese series in the wee hours of the morn and those races were a whole lot of fun to watch. It was a little crazy, yikes, we wish F1 was that abandoned, but nothing a little dicipline wouldn’t cure. I actually had hopes for Tagaki after a season of that but,no luck. He washed.

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