This week on Talk Asia, Formula One driver Kazuki Nakajima discusses his chances this season on team Williams-Toyota, the excitement he feels while racing, and his father’s F1 career. CNN catches up with the 23-year old at the Malaysian Grand Prix, Japan’s Suzuka Racing Circuit and Dubai during training.
Currently Asia’s only F1 driver, Nakajima shares with host Anjali Rao the thrill of driving a car 360 km/hr, “It’s more like driving a fighter jet…The heart rate goes up to like 170 beats per minute and we’ve got a lot of G-force on the neck…at the same time, we have to get all the information to the brain, and calculate everything so we need to have a very good communication with the engineer through the radio and change a lot of things on the steering as well. So, it’s actually much busier than it looks like from outside.”
The son of the first ever Japanese full-time Formula One driver, Kazuki Nakajima practically grew up on the race track. He moved up from junior karting to Formula Three and GP2 before breaking into the ultra-competitive world of Formula One.
Nakajima made his F1 debut in October 2007 in Brazil and races for the Williams-Toyota team. Although he has yet to achieve a podium finish, in his short career to date he scored points five times in his first full-season in 2007, while he notably became the first Japanese driver to score points at the legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Nakajima answers questions about his place on the Williams-Toyota and whether the Toyota partnership has anything to do with his spot on the team, “There definitely was help from Toyota for me to find a seat in Williams but after that it’s all my job. There is no help on the race track so I just perform.”
He also talks about an accident during the Brazilian Grand Prix where Nakajima overran the pit and hit some of his own engineers. He says, “I was thinking like sorry for the guys but at the same time it’s very important to change my mind…come back to the concentration. If you can manage to come back afterwards you can be stronger.”
Kazuki Nanajima’s interview with TALK ASIA will be available online at www.cnn.com/talkasia after the first airing.