Like father like son | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 12, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 12, 2007

Formula 1

Like father like son

Japanese driver Kazuki Naka-jima says he is raring to go all out in his first Formula One race in Brazil this month and join the elite club of fathers and sons in the world's premier motor racing.
"As I have nothing to lose, I will go full out," said the 22-year-old son of Satoru Nakajima, who was the first regular Japanese F1 driver and raced for Lotus and Tyrrell in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.
He was speaking to Japanese media by telephone from his home in Oxford, England, on Tuesday when Williams announced the younger Nakajima, the team's official test and reserve driver, would race at Interlagos, Sao Paolo, on October 21.
He will replace veteran Alexander Wurz who retired from the sport on Monday.
"I was told about the plan after the Chinese Grand Prix (on Sunday). I have mixed feelings as I think about Wurz. But I want to enjoy while driving," he said, according to Japanese sports dailies.
The Nakajimas will be the first Japanese to have experienced F1 as father and son.
"I didn't think much about it. But I think it's something special," said the younger Nakajima, who drove the Williams FW29 during Friday practice at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
The Williams team said the Brazilian GP is "not an evaluation exercise for a race seat in 2008."
Nakajima, this year's Rookie of the Year in the GP2 series, the springboard for the F1 tour, has covered over 7,000 kilometres in the FW29 in testing and has represented the team at five Grand Prix as a Friday driver.
"You cannot assess a driver's capability on the basis of one race but this is an ideal opportunity to develop Kazuki's experience," said the team principal, Frank Williams.
Nakajima said, "I have been told by the team that this will not be a test. But it would be great if I could run well. I want to produce a good result."
Brazil was where his father, now 54, made his F1 debut in the opening round in 1987, although the circuit was not the same -- Autodromo de Jacarepagua in Rio De Janeiro.
The junior Nakajima made his debut in kart racing in 1996, graduated from Toyota's training programme in 2002 and finished fifth and third overall in Japan's F3 series in 2004 and 2005.
He raced in the European F3 series in a Manor last year and finished seventh overall.
He will join two other Japanese drivers at Interlagos -- Super Aguri's Takuma Sato and Spyker's Sakon Yamamoto.
"I haven't told him anything much," his father told the Tokyo Chunichi Sports.
Other fathers and sons in F1 included Graham and Damon Hill, Gillles and Jacques Villeneuve, Wilson and Christian Fittipaldi, Mario and Michael Andretti, Keke and Nico Roseberg, and Jack and David Brabham.

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