Williams have today announced that Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima will race for the team during the 2008 campaign. The news comes after Frank Williams vehemently denied that his lead driver and son of former World Champion Rosberg could be switching allegiances in the whole Fernando Alonso saga. Nakajima raced for the squad at the final meeting in Brazil, and although he managed to clout two of his pit crew, the Japanese driver did reasonably well. Nakajima was also the highest place rookie in the GP2 series in 2007.
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. 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. Frank Williams.
I am very grateful to Toyota for the support I have had through the 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. Kazuki Nakajima.
Toyota must be pleased, having finally managed to get a Japanese driver into one of their cars (Williams are privately owned, but use Toyota engines) and this announcement quells any speculation about Nakajima driving for the Toyota factory team. Where that leaves the Cologne-based team is anyone’s guess, but I doubt they would have made this decision without fully knowing who they will be running next year. Hopefully a decision from Toyota will be forthcoming soon.
Update: Apparently Timo Glock has signed a contract to race for Toyota next year, but because it clashes with his BMW testing duties, the issue has gone to the Contract Recognition Board to sort out.