Fujitsu strongly connected with Toyota’s stance of continuously innovating and challenging to create a positive future through motorsports. The business strategy to solve social issues, including the realization of a carbon-neutral society also synchronized, and Fujitsu decided to support TOYOTA GAZOO Racing.
We interviewed Kazuki Nakajima, who has been engaged in a wide range of activities for victory as TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe Vice Chairman since this year.
Facing the challenges in the races
――I heard the reason why you challenge in the races, is to create better cars. Can you tell us more about that?
Sure. Races are always held under ultimate conditions. To keep challenging makes humans and technology stronger, and that in result, lead us to creating better cars. An example will be the hybrid engines and hydrogen engines. All the efforts behind the creation surely lead us to realizing a decarbonized society. I think improvements in cars eventually lead to the improvement of life quality, and the revitalization of communities. We aim to create a better society by keep challenging in the the races.
The major key to winning
――What would you say is the major key to winning?
Aside from the technical aspects of the drivers and engineers, they are all diverse, which becomes a strength in the overall team management. When we hold a discussion, I always try to include the local staff, and avoid becoming only Japanese members. I believe it is very important to avoid being biased on ideas. On the other hand, it is necessary to keep the leadership, where the lead members share the purpose. Racing is a rather straightforward ground in sharing the same purpose, but I am always very conscious about the team.
Strengthening the teams
――Did you ever feel when the team power became stronger?
Last year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the fuel system malfunction occured. We had to change the parts, which meant we were in a situation where we might have to miss the win. However, because the engineers and the drivers were able to cooperate with each other, we managed to finish driving without changing parts, and won the championship! If this had happened five years ago, I don't believe we would not have won.
――Why was it possible?
Because we communicate with each other daily, and we had a relationship. It all leads to shaping our attitudes like 'Never Give up Whatever the Situation Is' and 'Strive for Victory.' Furthermore, the message from the top also helped us. Morizo* sent us a video message at the best time. The message was, 'To win, please think about what each member can do.' That affected us strongly.
- *Morizo: The racing name of Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation President
――What do you think about Fujitsu?
I sincerely appreciate your support in fighting with us at TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. It is crucial to analyze the data and find the best solution quickly to win the races, so we are happy to get Fujitsu’s support to make it real. By carrying this out under extreme conditions, I hope we can connect these actions to create a better world.
Profile of Kazuki Nakajima
Kazuki is a retired racing driver from Aichi Prefecture. He became an F1 test driver in 2007, and was an F1 driver for two seasons from 2008. Starting in 2012, he participated in the WEC. Between 2018 and 2020, he won the Le Mans 24 Hours three years in a row. And in the 2018 -2019 season, he became the first Japanese driver to win the WEC. He retired in 2021 and is currently the Vice Chairman of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Europe.