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Kazuki Nakajima explains Suzuka’s trials

At Toyota’s 2022 Motorsports presentation in Tokyo on Monday, Nakajima won two F1 seasons with Williams, three Le Mans 24-hour wins, and two Super Championships in 2012 and 2014 at TOM. Announced the end of the driving career including the Formula title.

36-year-old will Instead, focus on the new role as Vice Chairman of Toyota GAZOO Racing Europe Next season in Cologne.

Nonetheless, Nakajima was active in Suzuka on Tuesday and returned to team regular driver Kazuya Oshima in the afternoon after driving a rookie racing Toyota solo entry in the morning session.

In wet conditions, Nakajima set the 15th fastest time in both the session and the day and will drive again on Wednesday morning.

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Nakajima explained in a Japanese version of that he decided not to participate in Super Formula next year and then decided to take part in the rookie racing test. Giuliano Aresi takes over Toms full-time in 2022..

“Rookie Racing has built a new base since the 2021 season. [after splitting from Inging]And it’s just a single car team, so it’s difficult for them, “he said. “No one compares the data. In that sense, there was an offer. [for me to drive] We try to improve the car from various perspectives.

“NS [retirement] The announcement happened yesterday. I think it worked this way, rather than creating strange speculation about what would happen next year without an announcement.

“Super Formula cars are fast and fun to drive, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to drive.”

Kazuki Nakajima, ROOKIE Racing

Photo: Masahide Kamio

Nakajima said the bad weather in Suzuka on Tuesday led to a change in rookie racing plans. He initially planned to drive for a full day before the decision was made to split his day’s work with Oshima.

He emphasized that the scheduled run on Wednesday morning was likely to be his last chance to turn the wheel in anger, but if the opportunity reoccurs, he will fully participate in future tests. Did not exclude.

“I don’t think Super Formula can handle when you’re away from the car for long periods of time. That’s what active drivers should do,” Nakajima admitted. “I don’t think I can say” I want to drive “anymore.

“It depends on the situation, but I can’t imagine participating again. [this test] This is probably the last time I’ve run properly in front of the crowd.

“It’s a pity that I couldn’t greet Japanese fans properly and ended the race, but I’m sorry I’m not too flashy. [to the fans] I think this suits me better. “

Nakajima’s final Super Formula race will take place in October at Motegi, the second time in the season due to Japan’s strict travel ban in the face of the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship and the global coronavirus pandemic. Finished in the place.

He quit the championship with nine wins, five pole positions and 31 podiums in 74 starts over 11 seasons with Toms. Kazuki Nakajima explains Suzuka’s trials

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