Previous F1 Teams:
- 2007 - 2008 Williams
As the son of Japan's first full time Formula 1 driver, Satoru Nakajima, Kazuki rose up the categories from karting to F1 by way of the Toyota young driver program to land his own full time drive in the sport in 2008. Spending five years in karting, from 1997 to 2002, he was as well prepared as the European drivers he would have to compete against. He followed karting with Formula Toyota in 2003, and won the series in his first year. In 2004 and 2005 he races in the Japanese F3 series, finishing second in his second year. In 2006 he raced in the F3 Euro Series, where he finished seventh.
His Career Thus Far:
At the end of 2006, Kazuki joined the Williams team as a test driver, becoming the first driver of the Toyota young driver program to graduate to F1. In 2007, he raced in the GP2 series and scored several podiums, finishing the series in fifth place and rookie of the year.
Before the last race of the Formula 1 season, Alexander Wurz, the full time driver, retired from the sport and allowed Kazuki to race for the team at the Brazilian Grand Prix. He qualified in only 19th position, bowled over his mechanics on a pit stop, but scored the fifth fastest lap of the race and finished in a respectable tenth position.
In Kazuki's first season in Formula 1 he will have to try to combine his natural speed with a certain amount of caution or judgment to achieve consistency. He was penalized in GP2 at the race in Turkey for causing a collision with the race leader, and he would later knock over his mechanics at Williams - while setting a faster lap during the race than that of his more experienced teammate, Nico Rosberg, who nevertheless finished the race six spots higher than Kazuki.
As the son of one of Japan's most famous F1 drivers, Kazuki would obviously always give the appearance that his father's name was the key to his career. In fact, where his father was backed by Honda, Kazuki decided early on to join the Toyota young drivers' program. His results in the lower series were clearly excellent, although rarely exceptional. It is always both an advantage and a disadvantage to have a famous father - as Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill knew - but Kazuki making it to the top is always also a sign of strength of character. Kazuki showed a spotty start to his career in F1, but having got past the first race, he would began 2008 afresh.