Williams confirm Rosberg and Nakajima for 2008

2008 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Kazuki Nakajima, Montreal, Williams-Toyota, 2007 | LAT Photographic / Glenn DunbarWilliams has announced that Kazuki Nakajima will race for the team in 2008 following his debut for the team at Interlagos last month.

The team also confirmed Nico Rosberg will remain at the team for next year, ending speculation that he might take Fernando Alonso’s place at McLaren or move to Toyota.

Nakajima was the highest placed rookie in this year’s GP2 standings, but failed to win a race all year.

The team praised his race performance in the Brazilian Grand Prix in which he made several overtaking moves, but he qualified poorly and hit his pit crew during the race.

Press release:

NAKAJIMA JOINS ROSBERG IN 2008 DRIVER LINE-UP

Oxford, UK. November 7, 2007. The AT&T Williams team confirmed today that their driver line up for the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship would be Nico Rosberg partnered by Kazuki Nakajima.After two seasons of racing for AT&T Williams, Rosberg is an established and highlyregarded talent and he will form the mainstay of the team?s continued drive towards the front of the field.

He is joined by Kazuki Nakajima, the 22-year old from Aichi in Japan,who for the past year has been the team?s official test and reserve driver. Kazuki, the GP2 Series Rookie of the Year, has been a member of the Toyota Driver?s Programme since 2003 when he claimed the Formula Toyota Championship. More recently, Kazuki has contested the All Japan Formula 3 Championship and the Formula 3 Euroseries.

Over the course of the 2007 season, Kazuki has covered over 7,000km for the AT&T Williams team as a test driver, as well as representing the team at Grands Prix as a driver in the Friday practice sessions. He closed the season with a capable Formula One debut, racing for the team at the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

On confirming the team?s 2008 race line-up, Frank Williams, the AT&T Williams Team Principal said, ??I am delighted to confirm that Nico will be racing for the team for his third consecutive year after demonstrating impressive and widely applauded form in 2007. Nico will be ably partnered by Kazuki, who has impressed the team over the past year. He has pace and the right aptitude to develop into a competitive Formula One racer and over the course of the next season, we will provide him with all the necessary support and assistance to hone his talents.??

For his part, Kazuki said on the news of his appointment, ??This is the crowning of a great year for me. It was an amazing experience to drive out of the garage as a Formula One driver at Albert Park last March, and now to be confirmed as a race driver or AT&T Williams is a dream come true. I am very grateful to Toyota for the support I have had through the Toyota Driver?s Programme and to Williams for the team?s faith in me. There is plenty of work to be done before next season starts, but I am resolved to do whatever is necessary and to show Williams and Toyota that they have made a good investment.??

Photo: LAT Photographic / Glenn Dunbar

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Photo: LAT Photographic / Glenn Dunbar