Kazuki Nakajima became the latest second-generation driver to start an F1 race when he took over Alex Wurz’s Williams seat at the Brazilian GP. His appearance alongside Nico Rosberg echoed the nepotism of the Damon Hill/Jacques Villeneuve line-up which the team enjoyed back in 1996.
Nakajima, a protégé of Toyota, was drafted into Williams as a test driver this year at the request of the manufacturer. Top sources within Williams have admitted that the team received a 50 per cent discount on its Toyota engine bills in return. If Nakajima races in 2008, the engine supply will, in effect, be free. Ironically, when Williams used Honda power two decades ago Sir Frank refused to take on Kazuki’s father Satoru, who was instead placed at Lotus alongside Ayrton Senna. Prior to Brazil, Nakajima Jr acquitted himself well on five F1 test outings, and was a regular GP2 podium contender in the second half of the season.