Jun.23 (GMM) Kazuki Nakajima's stock is rising within the Williams team, technical director Sam Michael has revealed.
With key Toyota backing, the 24-year-old Japanese, with a famous father, is often overlooked in formula one and usually put in the shade by his star teammate Nico Rosberg.But there are some in the paddock who rate Nakajima highly, and - at least until Sunday's 60-lap British grand prix - this faith was borne out by his performance at Silverstone.He was quick in the practice sessions, and then faster than German Rosberg in Q1, Q2 and Q3, and fastest of the entire field in the initial low-fuel qualifying segment.Nakajima lined up fifth on the grid but with a light fuel load, and ultimately could not keep up the necessary pace to make the strategy work and finished just eleventh.But Michael, Williams' Australian technical boss, is increasingly impressed by Nakajima, and rumours at the British event indicated that the Grove team is keen to preserve its entire race lineup in 2010."Kazuki has been continually improving since Barcelona and it's pleasing to see him helping to move the team forward," Michael said."The major difference is that he is now contributing directly to the setup process over a race weekend."He is definitely improving," Sam Michael continued, "and he really helped the team with setup direction this weekend."