Born on January 11th, 1985, Kazuki Nakjima is the son of former Formula One driver Satoru Nakajima and was born in Aichi, Japan. Despite the racing pedigree in his family though, Kazuki didn’t start racing until quite late in life and the age of eleven.
Starting out in 1996 in karts, Kazuki developed and honed his skills and was rewarded with the Suzuka Formula ICA karting championship in 1999. It was this achievement that piqued the interest of Toyota, and although his father had been backed by rival company Honda for most of his career, Nakajima Jr chose to go with Toyota and was initiated into the Young Drover Program.
2002 saw progress for the young Japanese driver and he won a scholarship into the Formula Toyota series. He won the title in 2003 and moved onto Japanese Formula Three in 2004. In his initial season he won two of the twenty races and eventually finished fifth in the championship. The following year in 2005 he finished second in the title race and combined his racing in Japanese Formula Three with appearances in the Japanese GT300 Sportscar Series, finishing eighth by the end of the year.
2006 saw Kazuki campaign in the Formula Three Euroseries alongside Sebastian Vettel and finished second in the first race, winning the fourth and ultimately finished seventh. Despite his performance declining towards the end of the year, his connections with Toyota came good with a test drive role with the Williams Formula One team, powered by the Japanese engine units.
Nakajima combined his testing duties in 2007 with a race seat in the DAMS GP2 team. He completed 7,000km of testing for Williams during the year and took five consecutive podiums in GP2, making him the top-placed rookie and ahead of his team mate. Towards the end of the Formula One season it was announced that race driver Alex Wurz would be retiring and the team opted to run Nakajima at the final race of the year in Brazil. Despite a pit stop collision which injured two team members, Kazuki went on to finish in tenth and set a faster lap than team mate Nico Rosberg.
Shortly after the end of the season Williams announced that they would partner Nico Rosberg with Kazuki Nakajima for their 2008 campaign.