Williams test driver Kazuki Nakajima will race for the team next season alongside Nico Rosberg. Nakajima made his competitive Formula One debut in the FW29 at last month’s season finale in Brazil, while Rosberg has been at the British squad for two seasons.
“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,” commented team principal Frank Williams.
“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.”
Over the course of the season, Nakajima covered 7,000 kilometres for Williams during testing and also represented the team for several Friday practice sessions at Grands Prix. The 22 year-old, who also enjoyed a successful campaign in GP2, replaced retiring driver Alexander Wurz for October’s Brazilian race, finishing tenth.
“This is the crowning of a great year for me,” commented the former GP2 driver. “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 for 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.”
The confirmation that Rosberg is to stay at Williams for a third year ends speculation he might partner Lewis Hamilton at McLaren next season. Sin ce making his debut in 2006, the young German has scored 24 world championship points, 20 of which he clinched this season.