Williams confirm first practice outing for Nissany on Friday

2020 Spanish Grand Prix

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Roy Nissany will make his debut in an official Formula 1 practice session for Williams this weekend.

The Formula 2 racer will take over George Russell’s car for the first practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya on Friday.

“I am very keen to get in the car in Barcelona,” he said. “Driving in first practice for the first time is a huge milestone for every driver.”

Williams intend it to be his first of three outings in the FW43. Nissany’s car will carry the logos of backer Start-up Isreal. “For me it is also a national achievement to be carrying the Israeli flag,” he said. “I have thoroughly been preparing for it with the team and I believe we can get great value out of it.”

Nissany will be the second Israeli driver to participate in an official Formula 1 practice session since the world championship began. The other was his father Chanoch, who drove for Minardi in a practice session at the Hungarian Grand Prix 15 years ago, and lapped over seven seconds off the pace.

The younger Nissany won races in the now-defunct Formula V8 3.5 championship. He lies 18th in the Formula 2 standings at present with one point. He tested for Williams at the end of last year, but was more than three seconds slower than the team’s current drivers Russell and Nicholas Latifi over the two days.

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Chanoch Nissany, Minardi, Hungaroring, 2005
Nissany’s father drove in a practice session for Minardi in 2005

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Williams confirm first practice outing for Nissany on Friday”

  1. There’s should be ‘end apartheid’ session before practice.

    1. I know what you mean. But reality is the guy is billionaire backed – Sylvan Adams, a Canadian and wants to promote Israel. If he does get the seat, he won’t be the first to buy a seat and certainly won’t be the last. Attracting sponsors is very important to a race team but Williams have taken it too far. The bigger concern should be that the team has not been attracting the right talents (although George Russell is considered a future star) in recent years. And it will be interesting to see how Nissany compares to Latifi.

      1. Wait what? Another Canadian billionaire? Lawrence Stroll, Michael Latifi and now Sylvan Adams. There’s should be an article about Canadian billionaires burning money on F1. Here I thought the accusation of Vijay using F1 to laundering money was baseless.

    2. @ruliemaulana This should be part of end racism campign, but then of course these kind of people were never included. They are simply the wrong kind of people.

    3. Well his Father marked the end of Minardi, I think he will end William’s before the end of middle East apartheid.

  2. If somebody is watching F2 knows how this dude is bad. I don’t know how many years he is in F2.

    F1 needs to to something about superlicence for practicing. At least that you have win in F2. This dude is never been in top 10 lol

  3. Fair enough that every single seater formula below F1/FE/IndyCar is a service industry: you pay your cash & jump in the car regardless of talent. However, this story is depressing.

    Williams are now at the level Minardi were at 15 years ago.

    1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      11th August 2020, 16:54

      His father Chanock got some stick at the time when he ‘participated’ in practice at Hungary for Minardi but I think we would all buy a drive in an session at a Grand Prix if we were in his position. Like gentleman drivers at Le Mans, they’ve worked hard and made their millions, hats off to them.

      However, when a talentless child of a rich father plays at establishing a career as a driver when they are mediocre on a good day in the lower formulae they have no place in F1. It’s embarrassing for everyone involved.

  4. Clear Montmelo. Danger on track

  5. I don’t mean to be rude about this guy but from what I’ve seen of F2 (and I haven’t followed it enormously) he’s not done much that’s impressive. There’s a good five or six out there that I thought certainly have skills but so far Nissany hasn’t actually shown if he’s one of them. I’m surprised he’s getting an FP1 outing when I thought Williams had both Aitken and Ticktum on their young driver programme too? Both seem a little more prepared for F1 than Nissany has shown. Who knows he might be great after all?

    1. @rocketpanda He ain’t great but I’d certainly much rather see him on track in an F1 car than Ticktum! Ticktum is dangerous and doesn’t belong in motorsport.

      1. I know Ticktum has a bit of history, but recently he’s been doing reasonably well, and putting in some credible performances in this season’s F2 races.

        There are definitely some of the F2 drivers who are more in the category of on-track hazard and… oh, hai, Roy Nissany!

        1. @dkor Just last week Ticktum was on the team radio in a rage threatening to crash into someone on purpose. Again. Some other drivers in F2 might be more clumsy in wheel-to-wheel battles but I’d wager none of them have more malice or a worse temper than Ticktum.

          1. @tflb @dkor Honestly think that sounds like good entertainment. It’s not like much else happens at the back end of the field.

          2. Should fit right in on Seb’s side of the Ferrari garage then… ;-)

            In all seriousness, I think it’s a bit of a stretch to translate smack talk on the radio (and yes, I’m aware of the whole exchange, and I didn’t really think much of it) into being actually dangerous on track.

            All of that said, whilst Ticktum has, as I said earlier, been putting in some credible performances, I don’t think he’s top tier this season. Right now he’s not really in the same conversation as the likes of Callum Ilott or Robert Shwartzman (just to name two). He’s doing ok, but needs another year to see if he can improve to the top few. Realistically, this is not something that is going to be an issue for the time being…

  6. This will certainly add the diversity that F1 is so lacking, if not quality.

  7. The bills need paying so, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

  8. Honestly feel like this guy is the Mahaveer Ragunathan of the f2 grid in 2020, he makes mistakes in every race.

  9. After the first race I expected Nissany had the opportunity to practice somewhere during his season without a drive, because he had a very intense battle for 10th at the end of the race involving the much well known Schumacher and Mazepin. He even double passed them, and the three swapped positions beyond this event multiple times according to the live timing (mostly off screen because it happened in the last few laps and there were some exciting battles to broadcast for better placements too).

    Here the double pass is:
    It would be cool to see this battle as a whole, because they fought for at about a minute, but I only found this.

    But since then he’s not close to the points. Two points in one and a half season. But I’m not surprised with this, this field is full of guys who are at least seasoned and proven point scorers too, and a lot of the newcomers were top runners of recent years’ F3 championships. So I’d say there are a bit less true paydrivers in F2 now.

  10. … much better known …

  11. Get that paper, Williams!

  12. Lucky Wookiee Ten Dollar
    11th August 2020, 15:31

    With any luck the only thing he’ll be practising is putting his helmet on the right way round.

  13. Excuse my ignorance but what happens if he absolutely trashes the car in practice. I mean who pays for the repair bill and what about replacing the engine \ gearbox does it get taken out of Russell’s allocation?

    I know these are basic questions which I should probably know the answer to, so thanks in advance anyone willing to take the time.

    1. Lionel Fournier
      12th August 2020, 0:40

      Seeing that the very mediocre Nissany is only being given a seat for FP1 because he is bankrolled by billionaire Sylvan Adams, I would guess that any damage to the car would be paid out of the money Adams is paying the team to take on Nissany as a test driver.

      As for engines, most teams will use a practice engine for Friday practice sessions, one that has more mileage one it and is not used for races (though it may have in the past). This year with the engine allocations being so constricted, I’m not sure if they’ve changed the rules on this, but at this point in the season I would assume they’re using engines from last year or from testing, since we haven’t gone long enough into the season for the team to have switched to their second engine.

      1. Thanks very much 👍

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