Williams announced a couple of days ago that their driver line-up for 2009 will remain unchanged. This means that the FW31 will be piloted by the Australian and Singapore podium-placed driver Nico Rosberg, and Toyota-backed Japanese star Kazuki Nakajima. While the Oxfordshire-based team are in praise of Rosberg and his two fantastic podiums, it is worth mentioning that Nakajima, although perhaps anonymously, has driven surprisingly well this year.
In his 2007 GP2 season, Kazuki Nakajima made a bit of a name for himself, although it was a name based on hit-and-miss results. However, at the age of 22, Nakajima was asked by Williams to step-up to the plate and take over from Alex Wurz in the final round of the 2007 championship in Brazil. This he did, and despite knocking over a mechanic in his very first Formula One pitstop, Kazuki did quite well.
2008 has seen the young driver mature some more, and until team mate Nico Rosberg claimed his second podium of the year in Singapore, the pair were on nine points each. Considering Rosberg has more experience with the sport and the team, and is often said to be something special, that says a lot about Nakajima. Both drivers are also equal on retirements, each having their race end early on two occasions.
Nico Rosberg continues to be one of the most capable drivers in the sport. Kazuki is getting stronger all the time and has more to offer and Nico Hulkenberg is developing well. Frank Williams.
Combining the final race positions of each driver during the 2008 season thus far, we can see that Rosberg has a total of 128, which averaged out into the 13 races he has finished means Nico tends to finish around the 9.8 position. For Nakajima, his total thus far is 150, which averages out to 11.5. Considering the difference in experience, I think Nakajima has done well this year and deserves another chance in the car. Here’s hoping Williams can build a blinder.