F1Punter

Formula 1: Against The Odds

One to Watch: Kazuki Nakajima

with 3 comments

Kazuki Nakajima has been quietly getting on with his job at Williams and in particular has been putting in some strong race performances. In the opening four races he has scored a points finish twice and has a net gain of race finishing position over starting grid position of a massive nineteen places! That is more than anyone else lining up at Istanbul this weekend. All of this got me to looking at Extrabet’s standout 9/1 price for him to record a top eight finish.

Istanbul holds mixed memories for the Japanese driver. In last year’s GP2 sprint race he was running in second position when a collision with Karun Chandok whilst attempting to take the lead saw him given a drive-through penalty that effectively ended his race.

In his preview for this weekend’s race, Nakajima said:

“I’m not particularly familiar with Turkey’s circuit, but I did race there last year in GP2 and liked the track so hopefully I can do a good job for the team in my debut there in an F1 car. I will try my best to get a good result and score some more points.”

A more critical look at his race performances would also identify that his two big gains and points finishes came at Melbourne and last time out in Spain. These races both featured a high number of retirements, indicating that perhaps Nakajima’s ability to ‘survive’ is greater than his ability to race. At the two Tilke-dromes that we have already visited in Malaysia and Bahrain, finishes of seventeenth and fourteenth saw him make little impression on the field.

Another factor working against Kazuki this weekend is a fact revealed after Qualifying today by Williams Technical Director Sam Michael:

“Kazuki missed out on a place in Q2 by just a tenth. We expected him to be slightly behind as we didn’t have some recent aero updates available for him.”

On balance I am not convinced that this is the right weekend to take advantage of Extrabet’s generosity. However I will be keeping a close eye on prices for the Japanese driver at the forthcoming races at Monaco and particularly Canada that might just suit him better. Certainly I won’t necessarily be put off by a poor Qualifying performance.

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Written by f1punter

May 10, 2008 at 7:36 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] points finish for Kazuki Nakajima in Monaco I don’t want to make the same mistake again. Full reasons here, but in short his qualifying performance doesn’t seem to hamper his ability to get his Williams […]

  2. […] ability to “survive” into the points prompted me to write this earlier in the season. There I highlighted that the street circuits of Monaco and Canada could well […]

  3. […] ability to “survive” into the points prompted me to write this earlier in the season. There I highlighted that the street circuits of Monaco and Canada could well […]


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