DRIVERS: KAZUKI NAKAJIMA

Name: Kazuki Nakajima
Nationality: Japan
Date of birth: January 11, 1985 - Okazaki, Japan

The son of the F1 driver Satoru Nakajima, Kazuki started karting at the age of 11 and was soon competitive on the Japanese national scene. As a result he was selected by Toyota to be part of its Young Driver Programme. This was a surprise as his father was a Honda driver for his entire career. With a scholarship to race in Formula Toyota in 2002, Nakajima was on his way and won the title the following year. He moved up to the Japanese Formula 3 series in 2004 with a TOM'S-Toyota and and finished fifth in the series. He stayed for a second season and finished second to his team-mate Joao Paulo de Oliveira. This opened the way for him to move to Europe in 2006, competing in the F3 Euroseries with Manor Motorsport and finished seventh in the championship, behind team-mates Kohei Hirate and Esteban Guerrieri. In November that year he was named as the Williams F1 test driver, thanks to his backing from Toyota and he competed in GP2 with DAMS. He ended up as the best-placed rookie in the series but did not win a race. Despite this he was promoted to F1 at the Brazilian GP with Williams, as team-mate to Nico Rosberg. He did a decent job and was signed for 2008. He was sixth in Australia and seventh in Spain and outqualified Rosberg on several occasions. He went on to become the first Japanese driver to score points at Monaco and ended the year 15th in the World Championship. He was re-signed by Williams for 2009.

Print