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Nakajima to race for Williams in Brazil 09 Oct 2007

Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams FW29 Third Driver Goodwood Festival of Speed, Goodwood, England 23 June 2007. World © Bumstead/Sutton Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Friday, 5 October 2007 Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Friday, 5 October 2007

Williams’ tester Kazuki Nakajima will make his Formula One race debut at the Brazilian Grand Prix next weekend, the British team has confirmed. Nakajima will step into the seat left vacant by Alexander Wurz, who announced his retirement on Monday.

The 22 year-old Japanese driver, who was named GP2 rookie of the year this season, has enjoyed a testing role with Williams since November 2006. He has covered over 7,000 kilometres in the FW29 and has already represented the team at five Grands Prix as a Friday driver.

“I am very grateful to the team who have given me this opportunity,” said Nakajima. “I hope I now know the car very well and thankfully have done some Friday driving as recently as Shanghai. This is a chance I intend to grab with both hands and repay the faith the team are showing in me with a strong performance.”

The Williams team stressed that the reason behind the opportunity was to build and develop Nakajima’s experience in the car, rather than to evaluate him for a race seat for 2008.

“You cannot assess a driver’s capability on the basis of one race but this is an ideal opportunity to develop Kazuki’s experience,” explained team principal Frank Williams. “I am confident he will approach the race in a very workmanlike and focused way.”

Nakajima, who is the son of Satoru Nakajima, who raced for Lotus and Tyrrell in the mid 1980’s and early ‘90’s, last drove the FW29 during Friday practice at last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.