Kazuki Nakajima has joined the voices claiming that the new breed of Formula One car is an ugly beast, but admits that if the changes to front and rear wing dimensions have the desired effect on overtaking, he can put up with the looks.
BMW Sauber's Christian Klien was the most out-spoken of those drivers on hand at the recent Barcelona test, claiming that the interim machine presented for him to drive was the ugliest he had ever seen. The Munich/Hinwil team's hybrid featured the specified tall, narrow rear wing with a wider lower 'snowplough' front wing, giving the car a bizarre 'out of proportion' appearance which is unlikely to alter without cosmetic surgery being applied to the 2009 rule book.
Nakajima wasn't a part of the first winter test, as team-mates Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg conducted the initial runs with Williams' own interim car, but will be back on track when the development programme resumes at Jerez next week.
"I'm sure it will feel very different to this year's car," he told the team's website, "The new aero regulations haven't made the cars look very attractive but, if the new regulations encourage more overtaking, I think it's worth it and, with the return to slick tyres, I think they will be more fun to drive.
"From my experience of the last test with the FW30B, the tests in Jerez could be quite difficult as the car is not balanced properly because it is a hybrid version. I'm sure, though, that it will be much better when we get the new car next year."
After an eventful debut in the final race of 2007, Nakajima returned to the Williams team for a full rookie season in 2008 and endured an up-and-down campaign that blended points finishes with the disappointment of being simply uncompetitive at several races as the privateer outfit failed to match the performance of its rivals.
"I think it was a good first year, although it wasn't perfect, obviously," he admitted, "It wasn't easy when the car didn't suit the track, but I do feel that I've developed myself throughout the year, which is a really important thing to do in your rookie year.
"I think my best race was probably Singapore. It was a great event, the atmosphere was amazing, the team got another podium with Nico and I scored a point after quite a difficult race. My worst race was probably Bahrain when my anti-stall didn't kick in at the start. That pushed me to the back of the field, and then I had a spin so I pretty much spent the race fighting my way up from last. But I've learnt a lot about what it takes to be a Formula One driver, [and] there's always still more to learn."
Although Williams is likely to have another tough season in 2009, the new rules could provide it with opportunity to upset the established order from time to time, and Nakajima is keen to follow the example set by his more experienced team-mate.
"I'll be working really hard on my physical fitness over the winter to be in the best possible shape for next season," he admitted, "As usual, one of the most important considerations of winter training is making sure you're fit for racing in the heat in places like Malaysia and Bahrain so I'll be working on that with my trainer. And, because the amount of testing we can do has been reduced, spending time with my engineers whenever I can is really important so that I get more of an understanding of the car.
"My objective is to get better results than I did this year - and to maybe get a podium. That would be really great."