Satoru Nakajima

Country Japan
Date of Birth 23-2-53
  Lotus Career
Debut 12-4-87
Last Race 5-11-89 3-11-91
Races 48 80
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Poles 0
Points 11 16

Other information...

The Honda protege and uninspiring F3000 driver came to Team Lotus as part of the Honda engine package in 1987. This fact explains why Judd engines where used by Williams in 1988 and Lotus in 1989 (as Honda usually supplied two teams which were to be Lotus, who had Senna, and McLaren who were more successful). In 1989 McLaren once again ran Honda engines, combined with having Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost driving, concluded they had "no room" for Nakajima. So Honda paid for the Judd engines used by Lotus on the condition that Nakajima got a drive.

Generally Nakajima's time at Lotus supplied uninspiring results, hardly suprising when his team mates were Senna and Nelson Piquet (reigning champion in 1988). Also he suffered from a lack of testing and having the heavy camera equipment in is car (which gave good coverage of his frequent shunts). Was more at home on faster circuits (and Suzuka!) where he was able to score points. However this was at the expense of street circuits where he had DNQs at Monaco in 1988, again in 1989 as well as Detroit.

By the end of 1989 Team Lotus had started its downward spiral, and Nakajima had the race of his life in the torrential rain at Adelaide where he finshed fourth (from a starting position of twenty-second) and claimed the fastest lap! He then went on to have an uninspiring two years at Tyrell (who by that time were also on their downward spiral).

More recently in 2008-2009 the Nakajima name returned to Formula 1 with Satoru's son, Kazuki, racing for the Williams F1 Team.